Dozens of shipyards, unions, construction safety organizations, community groups, and schools will share in $10.7 million in federal grants to support worker health and safety training.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded the funds under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, which awards grants to nonprofit organizations annually on a competitive basis.
The Construction Safety Council is among this year’s recipients. The nonprofit council was founded in 1989.
This year’s 72 nonprofit recipient organizations will focus on a variety of workplace health and safety hazards, including combustible dust, confined spaces, falls, lead and asbestos handling, and hazard communication.
Spreading the Word
Some funds will also be used to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved low-literacy workers in high-hazard industries. More than 1.8 million workers have been trained through the program since 1978.
The award categories for fiscal year 2012 grants include Capacity Building Developmental, Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development.
"The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers and employers are provided education and training on identifying and preventing serious workplace hazards,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The grants awarded by the federal government today will provide workers and employers in some of the most dangerous industries with important tools to identify and eliminate such hazards.”
Targeted Topics, Materials
Sixteen new organizations have been awarded a total of $1.6 million for Targeted Topic Training as well as Training and Educational Materials Development. Both of these grant types require that recipients address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA.
OSHA has awarded about $785,000 in so-called Capacity Building Developmental grants to seven organizations whose past activities have 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.
An additional $8.3 million was awarded to 49 FY 2011 Capacity Building Developmental grantees that “performed satisfactorily during the last year and provided awardable applications this year,” OSHA said in a release.
"These programs are unique in that they provide in-person, hands-on training that will have a long-lasting impact on improving workplace safety and health," said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA Administrator.
The Harwood program focuses on underserved and low-liiteracy workers, as well as those in high-hazard industries. Harwood was a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's former Directorate of Health Standards.