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October 20, 2010 8:33 AM CDT

OSHA Awards $8 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants

By ,

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded $8 million in Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants to 45 organizations, including nonprofit and community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities. The grants will assist these organizations in providing safety and health training, and educational programs for workers and employers.

"Ensuring that workers and employers have the information they need is critical to safe and healthy workplaces," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "These grants will help provide training and education aimed at identifying hazards, understanding rights and responsibilities, protecting health and saving lives."

The Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants support training programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates; low literacy, young, limited English proficiency and otherwise vulnerable workers; and small business employers. They fund long-term programs that build safety and health competency within organizations.

OSHA awarded approximately $6.7 million to 30 organizations already providing occupational safety and health training, education and related assistance to their constituents, and that are seeking to expand and develop their capacity. Another $1.3 million in smaller pilot grants was awarded to 15 organizations that seek to lay the groundwork for a robust safety and health education program. The agency received a total of 166 applications for the capacity building grants.

"The programs funded by these grants will have a long-lasting, positive impact on workers and employers alike," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "OSHA also has significantly reached out to non-English speaking, and historically hard to reach, vulnerable workers by awarding grants to organizations committed to serving those groups."

The training grants are named in honor of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's health standards directorate, who died in 1996. The programs receiving grants are designed to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths by providing the knowledge and tools that workers and employers need to identify and correct workplace safety and health hazards. This grant program is an important component of OSHA's efforts to provide workers in high-risk industries with training about job hazards and their rights. It also provides employers with crucial information about unsafe working conditions, mitigation strategies and their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

For a complete list of the 2010 Susan Harwood Capacity Building grant recipients, visit www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2010_grant_recipients.html. For more information on the Susan Harwood grant program, visit www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/. Public inquiries should be directed to Kimberly Newell at 847-759-7705 or Jim Barnes at 847-759-7781.


About the Authors

Diana Petterson is Director of Public Affairs for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Jason Surbey is Special Assistant to the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

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