The Maine School of Masonry in Avon works with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health of the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Labor’s Department of Labor to improve occupational safety in the masonry industry.
The biennial initiative will educate employers, workers and students on how to identify and prevent workplace hazards in masonry, including reducing and preventing exposure to silica, a press release said. The partners will also help inform workers about their rights and obligations of employers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The partnership was established through the OSHA Alliance program, which promotes safe workplaces and improves the voice of workers in the workplace. OSHA joins groups working for the safety and health of workers, including trade unions, trade or professional associations, companies and educational institutions, to use resources to create safe and healthy workplaces.
The Maine School of Masonry is the only private, nonprofit masonry school in the country, according to its website.
Founded in 2005 by bricklayer and instructor Stephen D. Mitchell, the school has taught hundreds of students the basics of laying brick and stone work in nine months of classes. The school’s one-year apprenticeship training program is designed to help students develop professional skills in brick, block, and stone masonry.
The school offers additional courses on historical restoration and conservation. Mitchell and his students have worked on restoration and conservation projects at the Kennebec Arsenal, Fort Knox, Old Wiscasset Jail, Stevens Commons in Hallowell, and Rangeley’s Historical Society.
Mitchell studied masonry at the Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in Presque Isle, where he graduated in 1973.