Galen Hollenbaugh


It’s no secret that Montana continues to rank near the top for the number of lost-time accidents, outpacing the national average and costing businesses millions. Although significant improvements have been made to our workers’ compensation system, we need to tackle the heart of the problem: preventing injuries before they happen.

At the Department of Labor and Industry, our goal is to make sure Montana’s workforce is going home safely each night to their loved ones. One successful method we are using to create safer workplaces entails education and training through our SafetyFestMT outreach program. Because we want to make safety training accessible to all of Montana’s businesses both large and small, there is no charge to attend SafetyFestMT seminars and classes.

Free training next week

SafetyFestMT Billings will take place Monday through Thursday at the Red Lion Billings Hotel and Convention Center with more than 50 topics for participants to choose from including:

  • Accident investigation
  • Active shooter
  • New OSHA record keeping requirements
  • MSHA Blue Card Train the Trainer
  • Defensive Driving
  • Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training
  • Meth Awareness
  • Hazardous Waste 101
  • Suicide in Montana
  • Ergonomics and aging
  • OSHA 10- and 30-hour classes
  • PEC SafeLand Basic Orientation
  • Flagging and work zone safety

This year’s keynote speaker is Spencer Beach, who will kick off SafetyFestMT Billings with his presentation: “Get it Done Safely.” Spencer received third- and fourth-degree burns over 90 percent of his body and uses his experience to inspire other.

Also speaking will be a representative from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to walk through the new federal record keeping requirements for workplace safety. These requirements will have an impact on Montana businesses in industry sectors across the state.

If you have not attended a SafetyFestMT training in the past, I strongly encourage you to take at least one class at the upcoming event in Billings. There is no charge to attend and the education you gain could help you prevent a workplace injury, which could save you money in the end. To see the full agenda and register please visit

Galen Hollenbaugh is acting commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.