OSHA Awards $10 Million in Grants for Safety Training

By Roy Maurer September 23, 2013

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) awarded $10.1 million through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 70 organizations, including nonprofits, employer associations, labor unions, and colleges and universities.

The program provides one-year grants to fund education and training programs for workers and companies about workplace safety and health hazards, prevention measures and workplace rights and responsibilities, OSHA said.

“The programs funded by these grants are one of the most effective resources we have for providing important hands-on training and education to hard-to-reach workers in small businesses and dangerous jobs,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels.

The grants are aimed at small businesses, workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates, as well as vulnerable workers, including those who are young, have limited English proficiency or are difficult to reach, according to OSHA.

Targeted Training

OSHA awarded approximately $1.6 million in targeted training grants to 18 organizations, among them the National Roofing Contractors Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, Voces de la Frontera, Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and National Jewish Health. The targeted training will cover the following topics:

  • Fall protection in construction.
  • Agricultural safety, including grain-handling operations.
  • Hair- and nail-salon hazards.
  • Ergonomic hazards.
  • Hazard communication for chemical exposure.
  • Injury- and illness-prevention programs.
  • Workplace violence.

A little more than $8 million in follow-on grants went to 52 of the capacity-building developmental grantees that performed “satisfactorily” during 2012 and “submitted awardable applications this year,” OSHA said. “The grantees demonstrated their ability to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to workers and employers in high-hazard industries as well as small-business employers and vulnerable workers.”

The grant recipients “are expected to institutionalize organizational capacity to provide safety and health training on an ongoing basis,” the agency explained.

Recipients include the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Farmworker Justice, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, the Regents of the University of California and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Disaster Relief

Another $1.2 million in grants were awarded under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, to assist workers and employers engaged in Hurricane Sandy recovery and cleanup efforts in affected areas of New Jersey and New York. The five nonprofits that received grants are the Communication Workers of America District One, Education and Training Institute Inc., National Day Laborer Organizing Network, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Work Environment Council of New Jersey.

Since 1978, nearly 2 million workers have benefited from training through the grant program, OSHA said. The program is named after Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s former Directorate of Health Standards, who passed away in 1996. More information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is available on OSHA’s website.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him on Twitter @SHRMRoy.

Related Article:

Need Funding for Safety Training?, SHRM Online Safety & Security, June 2013

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