Past Events

Past Events

February 5, 2020

MNOSHA Update 2020


In today’s ever changing workplace, safety has become an even more important topic to ensure the longevity and profitability of a company.  Staying up to date on current OSHA requirements and the resources that OSHA provides can be very beneficial.  This session will provide information on MNOSHA resources, MNOSHA Most Cited 2018, Recordkeeping and how to prepare for an OSHA inspection. 


Presenter:  Michelle Smith is a Safety Consultant Principal with Workplace Safety Consultation.  She has spent the past ten years of her safety career helping employers in general industry and construction become OSHA compliant and develop better safety and health programs within their organizations.  Workplace Safety Consultation is a division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry that offers free services to Minnesota employers and Michelle works with employers across the southern portion of the state.


September 4, 2019

The New Paradigm for Work Place Violence:

Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst

We are living in uncertain and sometimes unstable times.  Government agencies, police, businesses, health care, education have all been affected by workplace violence and it is not going away; in fact, it is predicted to get worse.  OSHA has just issue compliance guidelines to their officers to address workplace violence, but it takes more than enforcement.  This training will bring understanding of early warning signs of workplace violence and using basic strategies to creating a safe workplace.  Attendees will learn how to prepare a plan for the facility, for team workers and for individual employees; what workplace violence is; the four categories of workplace violence; how to determine if you are at risk; potential warning signs of workplace violence; and communication and reporting.


Presenter:  Vikki Sanders is a Principal Safety Consultant for OSHA Consultation Unit.  She has worked 7 years as an OSHA investigator and 29 years as an OSHA consultant specializing in Workplace Violence and general industry safety.  Vikki has taught over 650 businesses and 55,000 employees on safety topics to a variety of industrial settings including healthcare, education, manufacturing, government and business.

August 7, 2019

Security in the Workplace:  What Makes Sense?


With technology changing virtually every five minutes these days, what makes sense in looking at security for your business and employees to assure their safety?  Alarm systems, card access systems, video surveillance systems, fire alarm system, and video door systems are but a few of the ways to ensure protection.


Do you currently have safety security system?  Are you looking to update that system without spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to do so?  We will address these and other solutions in this presentation.


Presenter:  Thomas Vega, Regional Sales Manager with Heartland Security, has  more than 30 years of experience in the security industry.  Heartland Security has been in business for two (2) decades and is owned by thirteen (13) electrical cooperatives in Minnesota and Iowa.

May1, 2019

Arc Flash and Your Facility
Arc flash hazards exist wherever there is electricity. Does your staff know the dangers present and how to avoid disaster? This presentation will touch on:
 Practical compliance strategies found in the current NFPA 70E Standard for electrical safety in the workplace
 Relevant standards such as NFPA 70E, OSHA, NEC and how they apply
 What electrical hazards exist, including shock and arc flash
 Strategies for reducing the risk of hazards occurring or causing injury
 And more…

Presenter: Jeremiah Forman is a licensed electrician who has been working in the electrical field for 20 years. He is a 1999 graduate of RCC’s Construction Electrician Program, a 2002 Graduate of the NJATC, and has been an electrical and safety instructor with Riverland Community College Customized Training and Education since 2007. Jeremiah consults and presents on safety and OSHA requirements and is certified for both licensed and unlicensed continuing education requirements in MN. He resides in Albert Lea, MN.

April 3, 2019

Blue Zones in Your Back Yard


Blue Zones Project is a community-wide well-being improvement initiative to help make healthy choices easier for everyone in our community.  Blue Zones Project encourages changes in our community that lead to healthier options.  When our entire community participates – from our work sites and schools to our restaurants and grocery stores – the small changes contribute to huge benefits for all of us:  lowered healthcare costs, improved productivity, and, ultimately, a higher quality of life.  Learn how your company’s participation can directly affect your employees and your business.


Presenter: Ellen Kehr is the organizational lead for Albert Lea’s Blue Zones Project.  Ellen has been with the project since inception.

March 6, 2019

Legionnaire’s Disease – Creating a Proactive Water Treatment Program


Join us for this informative session to gain an understanding of Legionella and the role Biofilms have in its spread throughout a building water system.  Discussion will include review the currently available sources of published guidance for the prevention of Legionella such as ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188/189,  CDC toolkit and CMS Memorandum and how they impact their facility water systems.  Participants will learn to define and describe the steps of a Comprehensive and Defensible Water Management Program(WMP) and to describe the importance of Verification and Validation in a WMP.


Presenter: Erika Spanbauer, Account Manager with Phigenics, supports current clients in operating their Water Management Programs and selling new Water Management Programs.  Marty Detmer, Principal with Phigenics, delivers results of safe and cost-efficient Water Management Programs.

February 6, 2019

The Role of Occupational Medicine Services in Improving Workplace Health


The working environment has undergone an enormous change in recent years. Modern working environments and conditions have given rise to a number of health concerns for the working population. There is an increased demand for industries and businesses to ensure better working standards and protection for their employees.  This session will outline the benefits of proper implementation of occupational health or occupational medicine in the workplace.


Presenter: Dr. Scott Riester is an occupational medicine physician who specializes in workplace health and safety. Although he spends much of his time treating injured workers, his greatest passion is developing strategies and interventions to prevent injuries from occurring. Over the past several years Dr. Riester has worked with numerous companies and organization throughout Minnesota to develop strategies aimed at improving total worker health.

January 2, 2019

MN OSHA Inspections and Training Requirements


The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) covers almost all public and private-sector employees.  During this workshop, participants will learn the training requirements of MNOSHA and how those requirements may meet national OSHA standard requirements.  Participants will also learn how, and when, to anticipate (or encourage) a MNOSHA inspection at their workplace. 


Presenter: Kyle Van Lent, MNOSHA Safety Investigator, has worked with MNOSHA for the past several years. Prior to working for MNOSHA, he worked in various areas including; welding/fabrication at Monroe Truck Equipment, auto body/mechanical work at Truck Country, Inc. and various types of construction; HVAC, concrete, residential construction.  Kyle received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Platteville in Industrial Safety.

November 7, 2018

Local Expert Roundtable
This month, we will hear from local experts on topics near and dear to their – and your – workplace settings…Emergency Action Plans. Topics will include:
o Public Demonstration – Civil Disturbance
o Tornado & High Winds
o Fire & Chemical Release
o Medical Emergencys and Injuries
o Bomb & Terrorist Threat
o Emergency Telephone Numbers
o Facility Maps
o Plan Development



LaVern (Schultz) Schroeder started as a Tool & Die Maker with Lou-Rich/Innovance 36 years ago. He has served 14 years as the Safety & Environmental Coordinator and then Manager for seven facilities. Schultz has invited MNOSHA Consultation into his facilities 48 times and has been through three OSHA Enforcement visits.


Nicholas Pederson is a Maintenance Supervisor at Ventura Foods. Nick has been on boiler/waste water/ammonia operations, PSM (Process Safety Management), asbestos, first aid, safety committee, and managing projects.


Jim Zenk has been with K&K Fabrication, Inc. for 23 years and is the Safety Director, Maintenance Manager and water operator. He is also a First Responder with the Emmons Fire Department.

October 3, 2018

What To Do When Something Bad Happens –

Your role in the casualty claim process

“Casualty Claim” – words that strike fear in some, and curiosity in most.   This session will explain:

  • Roles, responsibilities and expectations of the insurance company, the agency, the affected party

  • Claim documentation best practices

    • General Liability

    • Property

    • Workers Compensation

    • Employment Practice Liability

  • Best practices for managing your part of the process

There will also be time for questions/answers from participants.


Presenter:  Jay Hackett is a Client Claim Advocate with the Cobb, Strecker, Dunphy and Zimmermann, Inc. Insurance Brokerage.  Jay has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has been with CSDZ since October of 2012. His role is to collaborate with insurance carriers and CSDZ clients to mitigate the impact of claims. He works closely with CSDZ Risk Control department to develop and deliver best practices for mitigating the risks of construction liability losses.  He also serves as a special project resource for issues relating to coverage issues.   

September 5, 2018

Air and Noise Hazards:

What, When, Why and How to Sample


Every work environment lends itself to noise hazards at some point. As employers, it is critical that we monitor noise levels and provide a safe work environment for our employees.  In this session, Mr. Kuzj will discuss OSHA specific sampling requirements, what employers should sample, what NOT to sample, and various sampling methods and demonstrations.


Presenter:  Peter Kuzj is an Industrial Hygienist in the division of Workplace Safety Consultation with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.  He has 19 years of OSHA experience as a Director of Workplace Safety Consultation Special Programs and Principal Safety Consultant.  Mr. Kuzj has been an Indoor Air Quality Consultant and a Contract Manager with the Minnesota Department of Health.


Previous to his extensive industrial safety career, he was a high school science teacher with a BA in Chemistry, Biology and Education from Macalester College.

August 1, 2018

Lockout Tagout (LOTO)


Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy. The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147) for general industry, outlines specific action and procedures for addressing and controlling hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.   This session will cover employer requirements in training each worker to ensure that they know, understand, and are able to follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures, and worker responsibilities in being trained in the purpose and function of the energy control program.


Presenter:  Eric Battle has been a Class A Master Electrician for more than 15 years and has been an electrical continuing education instructor over 10 years.  In addition, Eric has been a low voltage technician for 15 years. 

July 4, 2018        Holiday - No Meeting was held.

June 6, 2018

Unveiling the Experience Mod Mystery

Your premium is going up, so you shop around for a better rate. That’s how it’s always been done. Even if you get a lower rate, it doesn’t address the underlying factors that really determine how much you pay. Find out how your experience mod impacts your premium and what you can do about it.
Plus 3 Common Audit Errors Costing You Thousands in Work Comp!

Presenter: Mark Kraemer, CIC, CWCA, CSRM, Certified Work Comp Advisor, is one of Minnesota’s first Certified Work Comp Advisors and named the first agency advisor council for one of the largest self-insured funds in Minnesota. Mark is a long time speaker and educator on the topic of workers compensation. Mark and Minnesota Comp Advisor create a teamwork approach to control and minimize the impact of claims, thus driving

July 2018: No meeting due to holiday

May 2, 2018

Workplace Violence

In a world of seemingly increasing volatility, workplace violence becomes a concern for everyone. This session will assist in understanding workplace violence, recognizing warning signs before an event, mitigating risks and responding to a violent event at the workplace.

Presenter: Kurt Freitag was raised in Granite Falls and, during his junior year in high school, joined the active Army. He started basic training 17 days after high school graduation. Freitag spent 20 years in the active Army and Army National Guard as a combat engineer; he retired as sergeant first class in 2005. He started his law enforcement career in 1992, working part time for Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office and started full time with the city of Glenville in October 1993. Freitag started with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office in July 1995 and held positions as Firearms, Taser and use of force instructor and field training deputy (for training in new deputies). He ran for sheriff in 2014 and took office in January 2015. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two children.

April 4, 2018

Chasing the Opioid Epidemic

Opioid use is a hot topic in today’s world – both at work and in society. In this session, Matt Ramer with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit will confirm the truths and dispel the myths of opioids in our region, and outline things that can be done by the general public to help combat opioid use from becoming a more significant problem within our communities. Ramer will also talk about the use of methamphetamines in our area, with statistics that may surprise you.

Presenter: Matt Ramer has been an agent with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit for approximately 3 years. He has been with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office since 2013. Before joining the sheriff’s office, he spent 8 years in the Navy as an active duty military police officer. The South Central Drug Investigation Unit services Freeborn, Steele, Waseca and Faribault Countie

March 7, 2018

Fire Safety and Extinguisher Operation


This presentation is designed to raise awareness of fire hazards in the workplace and how to act safely in the event of an emergency fire situation, including selecting and using a fire extinguisher. When do you sound the alarms?  When is the fire department notified?  Who makes the notification?  Fire chemistry, evacuation procedures, and the selection and use of appropriate firefighting equipment will be discussed.   Participants will also gain experience using the fire extinguisher simulation unit.


Presenter(s):  Jeff Laskowske is the Deputy Director of the Albert Lea Fire Department.

January 3, 2018

Mental Health and Your Employees


Mental health is an increasing concern in our communities and workplaces. Freeborn County Public Health has identified mental health as the #1 priority to address related to health concerns in our area. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) has reported that 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide—yet 60% of adults living with mental illnesses don’t receive help.   This session will provide an overview of symptoms associated with mental illness, what you can do, and how to navigate local resources. We will allow time for questions and conversation about challenges you are facing as managers.


Presenter(s):  Ann Austin, Executive Director of United Way of Freeborn County, is also the Co-Chair of NAMI Freeborn County.  Ann has chaired Community Mental Health Committee since 2014 and has served on many committees during her time at United Way, including the Drug Education Task Force, Pioneering Healthier Communities, and the Blue Zones Leadership Team.

Sara Barnes, Licensed Social Worker and Adult Mental Health Case Manager for Freeborn County Department of Human Services, is a NAMI facilitator for NAMI Connection mental health support group.  Sara obtained her Bachelors in Social Work through Winona State University. 

December 6, 2017

Walking-Working Surfaces Update & Silica Quick Take

Falls from heights and on same level are among the leading causes of serious injury and death.  Learn how OSHA’s final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems better protect workers in General Industry.

Also, learn the updated silica standard basics and how to find resources that will help your company become compliant.



Michelle Smith is a Safety Consultant Principal with Workplace Safety Consultation.  She has spent the past eight years of her safety career helping employers in general industry and construction become OSHA compliant and develop better safety and health programs within their organizations.  Workplace Safety Consultation is a division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry that offers free services to Minnesota employers and Michelle works with employers across the southern portion of the state.

November 1, 2017

Fitness in the Workplace


We all know that fitness is important to our physical and mental health.  But how does our level of fitness affect the workplace?   This month’s event will focus on current statistics and updates of industrial work related issues/injuries and interventions to address these issues.


Presenter(s):  Patty Peterson OTR/L,CLT is a Registered Occupational Therapist with 27 years of clinical experience, 20 years of which have been in the field of Industrial / Occupational Medicine therapy. She holds Licensure to practice in both Minnesota and Iowa and holds certifications in Industrial Ergonomics, Pre work screens, Fit for duty testing,  FCEs, JSAs and Work conditioning: advanced hand therapy and Lymphedema therapy. Patty has developed and mentored industrial programs with in the Mayo Clinic Health Systems, with industries and businesses with in a 30 to 50 mile radius

October 4, 2017

OSHA Record-keeping Updates


Recent changes to CFR 1904.35, 1904.36 and 1904.41 have gone in to effect at the federal level. Minnesota OSHA has yet to adopt this final rule. Join us to find out what the rules say and where they currently stand at the federal level. This session will also briefly review the fundamentals of OSHA record keeping and the most common OSHA log errors.


Presenter(s):  Breca Tschida, CPE, is the Ergonomics Program Coordinator and provides Workplace Safety Consultation with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

September 6, 2017

Meeting Canceled - Rescheduled for December 6, 2017


​​August 2, 2017


Domestic Violence: A Threat to the Workplace     


Domestic violence doesn't stay home when its victims go to work. It can follow them, resulting in violence in the workplace, harassment by threatening phone calls, absence because of injuries or less productive from extreme stress. With nearly 1/3 of American women (31 percent) reporting being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, it is a certainty that in any company, domestic violence is affecting employees. At least 18 women were killed in Minnesota from domestic homicide in 2016, with the final homicide in 2016 taking place on December 23, 2016 in Faribault, MN at the victim’s place of employment. It is crucial that domestic abuse be seen as a serious, recognizable, and preventable problem like thousands of other workplace health and safety issues that affect a business and its bottom line.



Andrea Mauer is an employee of Crime Victims Crisis Center as an Advocate assisting victim of Domestic Violence and other crimes.  Andrea has a B.A. in Psychology Behavior Analysis from SCSU.  She is a licensed social worker (L.S.W.)

Maureen Williams-Zelenak has a Master’s degree in social work from the University of St. Thomas.  Maureen is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) and the supervisor of the Freeborn County Children’s Mental Health Unit and the Freeborn County Crime Victim’s Crisis Center.  Maureen has facilitated the Freeborn County Domestic Violence Education program.

Andrea Hall has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Corrections with a minor in Women’s Studies form Mankato State University.  Andrea is an employee of Freeborn County Court Services where she has been a Probation Officer for 17 years specializing in a domestic violence caseload.

July 5, 2017

Ransomware:  Digital Extortion


Today’s businesses run – and thrive – on a digital platform.  Ransomware puts that success…and the safety of your company…in critical danger.  In this one-hour presentation, learn what ransomware is, what happens if it infects your systems and how (or if) you can protect yourself and your company from its dangers.


Presenter:  Scott Woitas has been the Freeborn County IT Director since 2008.  Before that, he was the Systems Manager/Engineering Technician for the City of Albert Lea (1992-2008) and a Technician for Jones, Haugh & Smith (1978-1992). 

June 7, 2017

Active Shooter:  a message from the FBI      


Active shooter situations are possible wherever people gather: school, work, places of worship, sporting events, etc. The Minneapolis FBI has developed a presentation which addresses the active shooter threat in a diversity of situations. During this presentation, SA Joseph Malhoit will cover both what to do in an active shooter situation to increase the probability of survival and how to identify potential pre-event indicators of a person preparing to embark on a mass violence event. He will look at past mass violence events and the research and statistics related to active shooters. Another aspect of this presentation, which is unique, is that SA Malhoit will instruct attendees regarding “Active Listening Skills.” These skills can be used to assist people with preventing an Active Shooter situation and not just surviving one.


Presenter:  Special Agent Joseph Malhoit earned a BS in Pastoral Studies from North Central University and a MA in Psychology from St. Mary’s University. SA Malhoit has been an FBI Agent for 19 years, previously assigned to White Collar Crime, Domestic Terrorism and Violent Crime with an emphasis on Child Prostitution. For the past three years, SA Malhoit has been the Training Coordinator for the Minneapolis FBI Office. During his FBI career, SA Malhoit has been a Crisis Negotiator, the Employee Assistance Coordinator, a Relief Supervisor and the Crimes Against Children Coordinator.

May 3, 2017

Smart Security is Smart Living and Smart Working

Fire Alarms and Security in the Workplace

 Have you ever wondered how smart, connected security could help improve your work and/or personal life? Do you ever leave home and wonder “did I lock the front door?” Now you don’t have to question yourself, with a click of a button you can confirm and go about the rest of your day, worry-free. These same options are available for businesses.  In this session, we will discuss basic security, cameras, access control, or fire safety solutions that may improve the safety of your work environment and, literally, save the lives of your employees.


Presenter:  Custom Alarm is a locally owned and operated, security-minded company located in Rochester, MN with its own UL listed Monitoring Response Center. Custom Alarm was started in 1968 with only three employees and has grown to over sixty employees dedicated to taking care of the customer. Specializing in alarm systems, intrusion, video surveillance, and access control for both residential and commercial owners, their knowledgeable crew will show us the latest in facility safety alarms.

April 5, 2017

Driver Training – Safety in the Workplace


Traffic safety is important in the workplace and in everyday life.  Whether employees are transporting materials, chemicals, co-workers or patients, ongoing driver training is critical to the well-being of your business.

Instilling proper and responsible driving habits will ensure the safe arrival of both your driver and those around him/her. 

Bring your traffic safety questions.


Presenter:  Lieutenant Jeff Strom has been a police officer for 30 years, with the majority of that time being spent with the Albert Lea Police Department.   He is a graduate of Normandale Community College with an AAS in Law Enforcement and completed the law enforcement management series with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Lieutenant Strom works predominately 4pm-2am; he enjoys the evening shift and hub of activities.  His duties include supervision of the officers and CSO’s, but he also runs various programs within the Police Department , including Citizen’s Academy, Towards Zero Deaths (traffic safety), and Loss Prevention.  Lieutenant Strom is married to Andrea, a probation officer with Freeborn County and has four grown children.

Lieutenant Strom is always available for questions;  he  can be reached at        507-377-5254 or .

March 1, 2017

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards  (CFATS)

The Department of Homeland Security regulates security at high risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, 6 CFR Part 27. Facilities that are identified as “high risk” are required to have a Site Security Plan that addresses Risk Based Performance Standards (RBPS). Items to be discussed will include how a facility is determined to be high risk and the RBPS they will base their security on, as well as how local law enforcement and first responders are an integral part of this program. The different categories of facilities that may fall under the CFATS regulation, how to determine if your facility may be required to identify with the Department of Homeland Security, and how to complete a Top Screen to the Department to determine a facilities risk will also be discussed.


Presenter:  Immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, Scott Gearen was assigned to United States Special Operations Command as lead planner for Air Force Special Operations Personnel Recovery forces. In June 2002, MSgt Gearen was medically retired due to a culmination of injuries sustained over his 22 years of service. Following a move from Florida to Minnesota, he went to work in the US Embassy in Iraq as part of the State Department Diplomatic Personal Protection Detail, and later worked Personal Protection in Goldmines in Indonesia.  In 2015, Scott began working for the Department of Homeland Security as a Chemical Inspector in the state of Minnesota and is currently working for Department of Homeland Security in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program.

February 1, 2017

Distracted Driving and Your Company

Every day, thousands of drivers on Minnesota road are driving distracted.  Cell phones, on-the-go meals, in-car conversations and thoughts of everyday life affect the driving ability of those we entrust with our company (and their own) vehicles.   What constitutes distracted driving?  How does it affect your company’s bottom dollar?  What policies do you have in place to enforce responsible driving by your employees?  Sergeant Troy Christianson with the Minnesota State Patrol and Jessica Schleck, SE Toward Zero Death (TZD) coordinator, will share with you programs in place to reduce distracted driving incidences and reinforce responsible driving by employees.



Sgt. Troy Christianson is a 17-year veteran with the Minnesota State Patrol.  He is currently the Public Information Officer for the southern portion of the state; which includes the Rochester, Mankato and Marshall Districts.  Sgt. Christianson uses social media and other tools to keep the public safe and informed by delivering accurate and timely information regarding traffic safety.  Sgt. Christianson currently serves on ten Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Safe Roads coalitions throughout his region. He’s also a State Patrol instructor for emergency vehicle operations, and vehicle contacts.  Sgt. Christianson has served as a member of the State Patrol’s mobile field force and rapid response team and has several specialty duties with the State Patrol including: Crash Reconstructionist, Field Training Officer, Mobile Field Force member, and EVOC instructor.

January 4, 2017

Scams, Fraud, and Identity Theft

Identity theft victims are the number one reported crime to the Federal trade Commission and has been for a number of years.  Everyone is vulnerable to being scammed, frauded out of money and property or having their identity stolen.  Whether it is by telephone calls, mailings or the internet, criminals will use any means possible to gather information about you for illegal use.  Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in scamming people out of money or property to the extent that they are using the identity of local, state federal agencies, and financial institutions.  The internet has allowed criminals to be anywhere in the world and communicate with anyone they wish.  By knowing what the signs are of a fraud or scam, you reduce on the chances of losing your money or property.


Presenter:  Ben Mortensen is a detective with the Albert Lea Police Department.  He has been with the department almost 26 years and been a detective for the last 15 years.  He has been in Law Enforcement in Minnesota for the last 37 years.

December 7, 2016

Fire Safety & Fire Inspections

 All too often we go to the store and purchase items to use in our business and homes.  Did you know that some of these items are known to cause fires and are in violation of the Minnesota State Fire Code? 

During this session we will look at home and business safety along with what to expect from a fire inspection.


Presenter:  Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Laskowske has been with the City of Albert Lea Fire Rescue for 2 years.  Previous to this he was a Firefighter and Captain with the Grand Forks Fire Department in Grand Forks North Dakota.  He holds an A.A.S. Degree in Fire Technology from Northwest Technical College and a B.S. Degree in Fire Prevention Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.  Jeff is in charge of the Commercial and Rental housing inspection programs for the City of Albert Lea.

November 2, 2016

Keeping the Workplace Safe:

What Everyone Needs to Know About Drugs & Alcohol

During this session, participants will identify signs and symptoms associated with substance use; briefly review the effects and dangers of commonly used drugs in the work site; and identify resources available to help reduce problematic behavior.

Presenter: Jenine Koziolek has been a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 1999 with a B.S. from Minnesota State University in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a MEd in School Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has been with Fountain Centers, a Mayo Clinic Health System Program for Substance Abuse and Addiction, since 2006 serving in the role of Family Counselor, Clinical Supervisor and for the past five years as the Outreach Specialist. Her passion lies in helping people lead healthier, successful lives and educating the community on how to help facilitate this growth amongst coworkers, peers and neighbors by understanding addiction rather than stigmatizing it. Jenine has participated in several related work groups and boards in the community including the ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) committee, Partners In Prevention, Leaders Partnering to End Poverty and United Way Board of Directors, among others.

October 5, 2016

MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation MNSHARP - MNSTAR

MNOSHA is coming!” Those words bring chills to many safety practitioners, but should they? MNOSHA Safety Consultation services provide employers insight, recommendations and resources for developing and implementing a successful safety plan.

Topics to be covered include:

• What Workplace Safety Consultation can do for an employer

• What to expect during a WSC visit

• What to expect during a MNOSHA Compliance visit

• New topics

• Safety Grants

• Statistics


Presenter: Ryan Nosan has worked for MNOSHA for the past 15 years. The first 10 years were spent working in compliance as an investigator and the past 5 years overseeing the MNSTAR and MNSHARP partnership programs for the State of MN. Job tasks have included conducting programmed inspections, fatality and serious injury inspections, assisting with staff training, and mentor staff on inspections, completing informal conferences and settlement agreements, as well as his current role supervising the MNSTAR and MNSHARP program.

September 7, 2016

Personal and Family Preparedness

Disaster happens without warning. Preparing includes being ready for emergencies at home, in your car, at work, or anywhere else you may spend time. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. What you can do now can help you and your family better respond to and recover from any disaster or emergency, as well as contribute to the overall readiness of your community. Although there are many that people can do to increase their preparedness for emergencies, there are three basic steps you can take-Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be informed. Following these steps will cover most situations that may come up.

Anita Majerus, B.S.N., R.N. is a Lead Public Health Nurse at Freeborn County Public Health. Anita has worked at Public Health for 24 years in various areas, including School Health, Immuzations, WIC, Child Care Consulting, Healthy Homes and Disease Prevention and Control. She is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, a Licensed School Nurse, and a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.






August 3, 2016

OSHA recordkeeping:  Reviewing the basics

The ability to maintain an accurate OSHA log of recordable work-related injuries and illnesses is an important skill that benefits employers, workers, safety professionals and government agencies. Recording the correct cases and accurately including the required information leads to higher quality injury and illness rates that enable employers to better understand their relation to the benchmark rates and help government agencies to properly direct resources.  This session will be a review of the fundamental requirements of OSHA recordkeeping and the most common OSHA log errors.


Presenter:  Breca Tschida is the Ergonomics Program Coordinator for MNOSHA’s consultative group Workplace Safety Consultation.  She holds a Master’s of Public Health in Industrial Hygiene with a focus on Ergonomics.  Breca is a Certified Professional Ergonomist with 20 years of experience in occupational safety and health and a former health compliance officer.

July 6, 2016

Electrical Hazards - Presented by: Jeremiah Forman

Riverland Community College - Albert Lea, MN

Electrical hazards are one of the most common workplace dangers today and affects every aspect of industry. During this one hour session, Jeremiah will discuss the most common electrical hazards as well as recognition and prevention of those hazards.

He will touch on lockout/tagoutout, basic arc flash, and other general duty eletrical occurances.

Jeremiah will share some of his own experiences with electrical hazards, and participants are encouraged to bring their stories - both failures and successes.

​Presenter:    Jeremiah Forman has over 15 years of experience in the electrical construction industry. As a member of IBEW Local Union 343, he has worked in various industries, including industrial wiring, residential housing, and agricultural structures.

He is a Class A Journeyman in both Iowa and Minnesota and has been with Kestner Electric, an Egan Company, since 1999.

Jeremiah is also an adjunct electrical instructor with Riverland Community College

June 1, 2016

​Workers Compensation – Experience MOD Factor - Presented by: Mary Cave, Cobb Strecker Insurance Agency

Riverland Community College - Albert Lea, MN


Understanding Your Workers Compensation Experience Modification Factor (EMR)


It is important to understand, and monitor, your experience modification rating because it has a direct correlation to how much you pay in Workers Compensation Premiums. The lower your EMR, the less you pay in premiums. But, to be able to use your EMR to effectively control costs, you must firat understand how it works.


Presenter: Mary Cave is a risk and insurance professional focused primarily on manufacturing and construction risks. Mary has a passion for helping her clients have the best possible insurance, risk, and safety programs available for their business. Mary states "Helping client have the best rick profile and outcomes allows them to recognize a competitive advantage in the marketplace."


Mary is an Account Executive with Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann. For over 95 years, CSDZ has provided unparalleled service, support and products to our clients to improve their operational and financial performance. CSDZ provides clients with the tools, knowledge and advocacy to manage their business in an increasingly risky world.

May 2016
Safety and Business Operations: Your ROI

This program will focus on the symbiotic relationship between safety and environmental programs and business operations. In many organizations, safety has to compete with other department budgets for resources. However, by creatively looking at difficulties, solutions can be found that will increase safety, decrease costs, and benefit other operations. We will also look at how projects might have an unexpected return on investment and how to effectively present cost saving (and good business sense) ideas to management.

PRESENTER: Brad Kramer is the Environmental, Health & Safety Manager for Tandem Products and the President of Provenio Consulting, Inc. He initially gained his introduction to safety through being a Firefighter, First Responder, and Corrections Officer and has an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice. Brad has held a number of positions in the manufacturing industry from operations through management and has a B.S. in Business Finance. He lives in Albert Lea and is proud to have been a participant in the Chamber of Commerce and the Freeborn County-Albert Lea and Owatonna Leadership programs. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Steele County Safety Council.



April 2016

"Improving Organizational Safety Culture
Through Proper Safety Management"


Safety is a primary concern in every work environment.
In order to run an effective safety program, your organization must
embrace a culture of safe work practices from the “top down”.
Join us for this transformational workshop to discuss proper safety
leadership and its management system traits; come prepared to
share best practices in your company’s safety management
positions and culture.


PRESENTER: Mike Howe, Safety Administrator for Riverland Community College, has worked in the Environmental/Health/Safety (EHS) and Security fields for over 15 years. He has a Masters’ and Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety & Health Management from Columbia Southern University. Mike is also a Certified Safety and Health Manager (CSHM), a Certified School Safety Manager
(CSSM), and an OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer. Mike is frequently contracted by other facilities to provide expertise and regulatory consultation


March 2016
Stateline Safety Council

Educational Series

"How DO They Do It?"

With their low recordables rate, Lou-Rich of Albert Lea has set a standard in safety that many only dream about. Join us as LaVern (“Schultz”) Schroeder with Lou-Rich discusses their OSHA recordables history, including the types of injuries, number of workers, hours worked, MOD factor history by year, and workers compensation insurance premium history. Then, Schultz will share the different types of tools and services they used to reduce recordable injuries – the same tools and services that are available to all companies. 


February 2016

"OSHA Overview and Update"

What’s new with OSHA for 2016? What are key safety concerns for the upcoming year? How do I prepare for a visit from OSHA? Consultation visits – how do they affect my company? Are they worth the time? These are all questions that will be answered during this OSHA Overview and Update.

Instructor: Brenda Nickles, MNOSHA Safety Investigator
Brenda has worked with MNOSHA Enforcement as a Safety Investigator since Jan 2004. Prior to working with MNOSHA worked as Safety Intern for Cargill; a Mining Supervisor for LTV Steel Mining Company; a Mining Technician, Kennecott and other management positions prior to that. Education includes a BS in Industrial Technology from the University of North Dakota in 1982 and a MS in Industrial Technology with an emphasis on Safety and Environmental Health from the University of North Dakota in 2003.


January 6, 2016

"Industrial First Aid"


There has been an injury at your site.  Do you – or your employees – know how to assess and/or respond?  What are the most common injuries you may see in the workplace?  Are you prepared? This session will highlight industrial first aid and emergency response to the event, including AHA standards. 


Instructor: Quentin Sickels, American Heart Association (AHA) certified instructor



December 2015



What IS “ergonomics”?  What does it mean for your company? Learn more about the principles of ergonomics, the proper use of equipment and tools, proper lifting techniques, and work task awareness. 


Instructor: Patty Peterson - HealthReach



November 2015

"Violence in the Workplace"



Quentin Sickels

Freeborn County Sheriff Freitag




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