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OSHA Awards $10.5M in Training Grants

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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Through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, OSHA just made $10.5 million in training grants available to organizations in high-risk industries, including many nonprofit groups related to the construction industry.

OSHA is giving these one-year federal workplace safety and health training grants to 80 groups with programs that help workers and their employers identify workplace hazards, undertake injury prevention measures, and recognize their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, the DOL announced Wednesday (Sept. 2).

Ensuring Workplace Awareness

OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program seeks to educate workers and employers on how to recognize, avoid, and prevent of safety and health hazards in the workplace, as well as keeping workers aware of their rights and employers mindful of their responsibilities under the OSH Act.

© iStock.com / kirbyworks

OSHA is awarding $10.5 million in grants to 80 nonprofit organizations to help them deliver workplace safety and health training that targets high-risk workers and their employers.

Many of these programs target audiences with employees who have limited proficiency with the English language or low literacy levels; are employed by small businesses; are disadvantaged or underserved; or are temporary workers.

They make use of existing training materials or include plans to revise existing training materials.

According to the program site, grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are issued annually based on Congressional appropriation.

“The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is an essential component of OSHA's worker protection efforts,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

“This program provides thousands of workers and small employers with hands-on training and education in some of the most dangerous industries.”

Funding a Safe Workplace

In the FY2015 awards disbursement, the $10.5 million is divided into awards categories that span targeted topic training, educational materials development, and capacity-building programs.

About $2.2 million covers new, targeted topic training and educational materials development grants to 19 organizations. Both grant types require awardees to address OSHA-designated safety and health hazards, including preventing construction hazards and hazardous chemical exposures.

About $2.3 million goes to another 15 groups as new capacity-building developmental grants to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to workers and employers in the targeted populations. Recipients in this category are expected to create organizational capacity to provide safety and health training on an ongoing basis.

Approximately $3 million of follow-on grants go to 20 capacity-building developmental grantees, and about $3 million in follow-on grants will go to 26 targeted topic grantees that performed satisfactorily during fiscal year 2014.

These grantees demonstrated their ability to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to workers and employers in high-hazard industries, small-business employers, and vulnerable workers.

Construction Industries Targeted

Construction-related industries appear throughout the list of fiscal year 2015 award recipients including road and highway, commercial, residential and general construction industries.

© iStock.com / ivanastar

The federal training grants target high-risk industries to help employees and employers identify workplace hazards, implement injury prevention tactics, and know their rights and responsibilities.

Fall protection, construction Focus Four hazards (falls, caught-in or -between, struck-by and electrocution) and work zone hazards are the focus of many funded training programs.

Among those winning funding in the Targeted Topic series of the program are:

  • American Road and Transportation Builders Association: $139,241 for construction road zone hazards and fall prevention training;
  • Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region: $140,000 for construction Focus Four training;
  • LIUNA Training & Education Fund: $139,561 for construction road zone safety training;
  • Miami Dade College – Kendall Campus: $135,181 for training construction and general industry workers on topics such as worker rights and responsibilities, construction Focus Four, fall prevention in construction, heat illness prevention, ergonomic hazards, and temporary worker hazards;
  • Organization of Hispanic Contractors: $140,000 to train first-generation Hispanic/Latino workers and trainers on Focus Four construction hazards; and
  • UWUA Power For America Training Trust Fund: $140,000 for train-the-trainer instruction on Focus Four construction hazards.

Those construction-related groups winning in the Targeted Topic Follow-On grant series include:

  • Associated General Contractors of America Inc.: $120,000 for highway work zone safety training to road construction workers;
  • Brazilian Immigrant Center Inc.: $88,500 for training related to residential construction, including fall prevention; working on roofing; proper use of fall arrest systems, ladders and scaffolds; and worker rights;
  • Compacion Foundation Inc.: $125,840 to train construction workers in Texas on chemical hazards, exposure limits, hazard control, emergencies and first aid, and hazard communication;
  • Latino Worker Resource Center: $122,670 to train Latino residential and commercial construction workers in Illinois on personal fall arrest systems, safety nets, unprotected floor and wall openings, and fall protection on scaffolds;
  • Legal Aid Justice Center: $124,704 includes training for construction workers on heat illness prevention, fall prevention and chemical hazards/communication;
  • Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health: $117,065 to train workers in residential construction on industry hazards and fall protection from ladders, scaffolds and roofs;
  • University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus: $125,578 to train temporary workers in construction and general industries on worker rights, hazard communication, personal protective equipment and fall protection; and
  • University of Texas at El Paso: $125,964 to train those in residential and commercial construction in El Paso on recognizing fall hazards, fall protection requirements, understanding restraint and arrest, inspecting and wearing fall arrest equipment, anchorage point requirements, electrical hazards, electrical protection requirements and personal protective equipment.
© iStock.com / Mickrick

Many of the funded programs target audiences with limited proficiency with the English language, are employed by small businesses, are disadvantaged, or are temporary workers.

Among the Pilot, Developmental and Developmental Follow-on Capacity Building grants programs, recipients included:

  • Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association: $148,683 to provide train-the-trainer instruction on maritime shipyard safety hazards workers in the maritime industry. In addition to training on topics such as fire prevention, job safety analysis, fall prevention and confined space, the plan includes development of fall protection training materials as well as the use of existing training materials;
  • Workers Defense Project: $160,000 for construction hazard training, including excavations; cranes; confined space; struck-by; caught-between; and hazard recognition, avoidance and prevention (this funding includes plans to develop lesson plans, trainee manuals and a train-the-trainer guide);
  • Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana Inc.: $135,915 for train-the-trainer instruction and training to safety reps in the chemical, refinery, and construction industries in Indiana, targeting construction workers and employers; and to update existing training modules to include topics such as process safety management, risk assessment and accident investigation, fall protection, confined space and hot work permits, excavation safety, and train-the-trainer content;
  • Education & Training Institute Inc.: $148,480 for training on residential construction hazards for workers in small and new businesses in New Jersey. Training covers OSHA rights, chemical hazards, PPE/respirator protection, fall protection, concrete and masonry safety, and excavations;
  • Sustainable Workplace Alliance Inc.: $102,685 includes funding to provide training on road and bridge construction including work-zone safety, aerial lifts, flagging, signaling, rigging, silica, falls and noise hazards; and
  • Work Environment Council of New Jersey: $148,500 includes funding to train workers and employers involved in chemical plants, oil refineries, and sewage and water treatment operations on topics such as identifying and mapping hazards, chemical hazards, mold hazards, and injury and illness prevention.
© iStock.com / ShawnWilkinson

The Susan Harwood Training Grants Program helps to "save lives," according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Perez.

Saving Lives

“Susan Harwood training grants save lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The hands-on training supported by these grants helps assure that workers and employers have the tools and skills they need to identify hazards and prevent injuries.”

Since 1978, approximately 2.1 million workers have been trained through the Harwood program.

The training grant program honors Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's former Directorate of Health Standards, who passed away in 1996.

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Education; Fall protection; Funding; Grants; Health and safety; OSHA; Worker training

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