On Sept. 11, Virginia Tech Curt Porterfield was invited by Chef Mike Herbert to teach a group of NOVA students a class titled Chemical Safety for Hospitality Workers. This class focused on chemical safety, and how it applies to workers in restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and other hospitality-based workplaces.
Mr. Porterfield focused on how chemical safety is important for everyone in hospitality, from top management to the front line workers. He stressed how accidents can causeinjury or death, the effect they have on morale of the work force, the negative publicity, and the threat of fines and lawsuits. He noted how reported injuries and deaths due to chemical exposure have decreased, but also how even one death or injury is one too many.
He educated our students about OSHA requirements, about the need to report chemical accidents and how to deal with specific chemical hazards, and how those who report these hazards are protected from retaliation. Curt stressed practical solutions and fixes to many common situations. All in all, those who attended came away with a greater understanding of the importance and implementation of chemical safety.