The PEF Health & Safety Department offers a wide variety of training opportunities for PEF members and Leaders. Training may include management, other bargaining units, various state agencies and/or any entities that will promote cooperation and understanding of H&S concerns in your workplace.

Workshops are conducted at members’ worksites, PEF Regional Conferences, Agencies’ Conferences, and online.

To sign up for online training:

  • Register for a scheduled training as an individual participant,
  • Ask your Local Steward or Council Leader to work with the PEF H&S Department to coordinate training for your Division, Health & Safety Committee, or your worksite.
    • PEF H&S staff are available to attend membership or H&S Committee meetings to present on the trainings we offer,
  • Talk to your Regional Coordinator about training opportunities.

PEF training programs are offered under direct funding, joint funding through the PEF/NYS Contract and a Training and Education Grant from the NYS Department of Labor. Learn more.

We Work with You

The PEF Health & Safety staff are here to assist you with your training needs. Trainings are offered both virtually and in-person, during the workday, at lunch and learns, or in the evenings. We work with your PEF representatives and State agencies to provide access and opportunity for training.

To learn more about what services the PEF Health and Safety Department offers, please contact us at or 1-800-342-4306 ext. 254 and a Health & Safety Specialist will assist you.

Trainings Currently Offered

Trainings are tailored to meet the specific needs of the group requesting them. If you do not see a program that meets your needs, please let us know and we will work with you and your PEF leaders to develop a suitable training.

Foundational Health and Safety Structures

Effective Labor Management Meetings: All public employees, regardless of their work setting, are confronted with health & safety issues and hazards daily. All too often worksites lack a comprehensive health & safety program. The PEF/NYS Contract guarantees the right to establish local and agency wide health & safety committees – but where do we begin? This workshop covers the basics, including how to work together (PEF and management) to form and empower health & safety committees. Committee structures and function, the roles of committee members, how to set an agenda and committee activities outside of the meetings are discussed. Participants will also learn how to gather information and resources to create a health & safety action plan.

Establishing Health and Safety Committee Networks: Worksite or Local Health & Safety Committees are key to preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. These committees actively identify and discuss hazards in the workplace and are also crucial points of contact for state workers with questions or concerns related to health and safety. Participation from both management and labor, locally and statewide, on these committees creates an environment of collaboration and problem solving on health and safety topics that benefits the entire worksite. This training is designed to help NYS Agencies identify and map, the locations of Local H&S Committees. We will work with training participants to assess how well these committees are functioning, where assistance is needed to create stronger committees, and where new committees need to be organized. Assessing this landscape will allow participants to strengthen the bonds that keep these committees productive and will help agencies and their labor counterparts better understand what opportunities for collaboration may lie ahead.

Health and Safety Committee Training: The State of New York and PEF have a contractual agreement that each State Agency must have a joint labor-management health and safety committee, resulting in more than 130 agency-level and local-level committees. Their primary function is to identify risks, and address health and safety concerns for NYS employees. Agency-level committees address issues with statewide impact and provide guidance to local-level committees. We will provide trainings targeting prominent issues on the agency-level H&S committee agenda, giving the committees tools to resolve those issues and implement programs on statewide and local levels. These committees meet quarterly, providing the perfect opportunity to train both management and labor on the most pressing issues before the committee. Committees will receive targeted training during the grant year, tailored to their specific needs.

Health & Safety: How to Hold Your Employer Accountable: This training introduces participants to the foundational items that support all healthy and safe workplaces. We will cover what your role is in this landscape as a worker and Union member and how we can achieve healthy and safe workplaces by focusing on accountability.  At the end of this training, you will be able to take proactive action in your workplace immediately.

Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Rights/ Responsibilities: This workshop will provide basic information on how PESH can help with safety concerns. It will detail the kinds of violations that can result in a PESH complaint, how to properly file, and the timeframes of the process.

Click HERE for a factsheet on PESH


Ergonomics Direct Training: Workers, especially those in Executive and Administrative agencies, are increasingly using digital and mobile technology at the office. Use of computer and mobile devices puts workers at an increased risk of repetitive strain injuries and illnesses. Workers can prevent, mitigate or avoid injury and illness using sound ergonomic principles and techniques. This program introduces important aspects of the early prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, as well as the importance of ergonomic committees, medical management and rehabilitation of injured workers. Participants will gain an understanding of the basic concepts, principles and techniques of ergonomics including the impact of posture, occupational exposure, and work stress. Participants will also learn how to conduct an ergonomic evaluation of their own workstations.

Ergonomic Assessor Training: Participants will engage in a more in-depth study of the principles and techniques of ergonomics, the impact of posture, occupational exposure, and work stress including early prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the importance of ergonomic committees, medical management, rehabilitation of injured workers and the design of workstations. In the second half of the program, participants will learn how to conduct ergonomic workstation evaluations for themselves and co-workers, using the knowledge and techniques learned throughout the training. This workshop is designed to help NYS Agencies, Local Health and Safety Committees, and workers understand how to effectively conduct ergonomic assessments for fellow co-workers and a thorough understanding of ergonomic principles, techniques, and workstation design. The program utilizes an interactive classroom or online webinar format with PowerPoint presentation, extensive use of discussion, live demonstration, small group activities, and sample workstation assessments. PEF trainers will advise agency committees and provide follow-up and support for participants in the Ergonomic Assessor Program.

Click HERE for a factsheet on ergonomics

Remote Work Ergonomics Training:  Workers with remote assignments, telecommuting, or field work are at an increased risk for repetitive motion injuries. Workers are tasked with working off smaller portable devices and typically lack fixed or adjustable workstations, which creates an increased risk for repetitive motion injuries. Participants will learn about musculoskeletal disorders common for remote work; risk factors for remote work; how to fashion a remote workstation; safer ways of working from a vehicle for field staff; and injury prevention strategies.

Driving and Vehicle Ergonomics for Field Staff: Some workers are frequently in field status that puts you at risk for repetitive motion injuries. The ideal “ergonomic” computer workstation includes an adjustable desk and chair with a separate computer screen, keyboard, and mouse. However, being at a mobile worksite working on laptops, tablets, and smart phones defies these basic ergonomic guidelines.  Many workers are frequently working from vehicles which can lead to a variety of ergonomic risk factors, including chronic wrist, back, neck or leg pain. This module informs you of the basic concepts, principles, and techniques of ergonomics, as well as important aspects of the early prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Participants will learn strategies to identify modifications to assigned work environments to help minimize potential ergonomic risk factors.

Infectious Disease

Infection Control Measures for Workplaces: Workers in high density workplaces were at increased risk for exposure throughout the COVID19 Pandemic. Drastically lowering density in the workplace was a key control measure to flatten the curve of infection. With the reopening of New York State and the steady return of workers to the workplace, it is important to conduct hazard assessments to determine if effective workplace control measures are in place to prevent transmission. Participants will learn best practices for keeping themselves safe on the job through advanced techniques on how to conduct hazard assessments for infectious diseases, identifying effective workplace specific control measures; reviewing pertinent protocols and procedures; conducting records reviews; and how to effectively follow-up with Health and Safety Committees.

Workplace Injury and Illness Data 

How To Analyze Injury and Illness Records: The foundation of any Health and Safety Committee is to ensure that the most serious workplace hazards are identified and effectively addressed. One of the most effective tools in hazard identification is the review of injury and illness records. Some but not all NYS Agencies provide quarterly or yearly reports to the Statewide and Local Health and Safety Committees. Reviewing these reports is critical to mediate hazards in the workplace and track trends in workplace incidents. Participants will learn the importance of conducting a review; how to request pertinent records; how to effectively evaluate injury and illness records; and how to use the information to track trends and identify and control for hazards.

Click here for a factsheet on using injury and illness records

Workers Compensation and A Safe Return to Work: This workshop provides an overview of the New York State workers’ compensation law, recent reforms, methods for a more successful return to work, and using workers compensation experiences to prevent future injuries in the workplace. The roles, practices, and procedures of the key players; State Insurance Fund, the Workers’ Compensation Board, healthcare providers, and attorneys, will also be reviewed. Additionally, we will cover the benefits outlined in the PEF collective bargaining agreement, including a light duty program that allows workers to transition back to work for a more successful and sustaining return to work. The goal of the workshop is to provide injured workers with the information and resources they need to return safely to work and provide guidance and structure for strong return to work programs. This training provides participants with knowledge of workers’ compensation, pertinent resources that are available to workers injured on the job, and guidance on important components of a strong return to work program.

Click here for informational material on workers compensation

Workplace Violence and Bullying

Assessing Workplace Violence Prevention Programs: In 2006, New York State enacted legislation requiring public employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs (WVPP) for employees at each worksite. WVPP requirements are the minimum steps an agency must take to protect employees from WV. However, implementing a program that goes above and beyond the minimum requirements will create a more successful WVPP and a more positive work environment. Many NYS Agencies have learned that they need more effective ways to address WVP than they had when they developed their programs. Joint Labor & Management Committees often look to PEF to provide supplemental training for WVP Committees and Risk Assessors, not required by the law, but crucial to implementing effective programs. This training includes a “Workplace Violence Prevention Program Toolbox” including regulations, guidelines, fact sheets, sample documents and training programs that should be used to evaluate agency/worksite WVPPs and make recommendations for improvement.

Click here for a factsheet on workplace violence prevention

Conflict Resolution to Prevent Workplace Violence: Co-worker conflict can create serious problems for affected individuals and can disrupt an entire workplace. It may increase stress and make an already difficult and demanding job intolerable. If not resolved, conflict can lead to type 3 or co-worker violence. As part of a robust workplace violence prevention program, co-worker conflict must be addressed by identifying where conflict typically occurs and work to implement control measures and resolution processes. This training will provide measures to help agencies and workers to address co-worker conflict issues including development of policies and procedures, training and education, and conflict resolution practices.

Bullying: Often, charges of bullying in the work setting may rise to the level of workplace violence. This workshop will look at bullying in the workplace-what it is and what it is not- and what appropriate actions can be taken to resolve charges. Participants will be given an information resource toolbox with reference materials to guide them through fact finding and resolution. Time will also be reserved for discussion of specific incidents.

Click here for a factsheet on bullying and co-worker conflict