OSHA has announced it will be opening eight new OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers to extend safety and health training opportunities throughout U.S. The agency will also be renewing two of its OTI centers. The additional OTI Education Centers, made up of non-profit organizations, will further increase OSHA’s reach to provide safety and health training, the agency says.

“These centers will extend access to a greater number of individuals who seek to incorporate OSHA safety and health practices into their workplaces,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.

Current OTI Education Centers offer training courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health issues to private sector and federal personnel from agencies outside OSHA.

The OTI Education Centers program was created in 1992 to complement the OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, Ill., which is OSHA’s premier training provider. The OTI Education Centers trained more than 27,000 people during FY 2007, representing an all-time record for the program.

The new centers were selected through a national competition announced last July. Applicant organizations were evaluated based on occupational safety and health experience, continuing education training background, classroom and laboratory availability, and the ability to provide training throughout the region. OSHA provides no funding to the education centers. They support their OSHA training through their normal tuition and fee structures.