OSHA Announces $12M in Safety Training Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor recently unveiled the availability of more than $12.7 million in funding to support training initiatives designed to promote workplace health and safety.
The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program includes funding opportunities for Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and new Capacity Building training grants for nonprofit organizations.
Administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, grants will support recipients’ efforts to provide instructor-led remote and in-person hands-on training for workers and employers in:
Specifically, the Harwood grants will reportedly fund training and education on how to recognize, avoid and control hazards, as well as inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 7. Additionally, OSHA plans to host a webinar, “How to Prepare a Competitive Susan Harwood Training Grant Application,” to assist organizations in preparing grant applications on May 25.
About Susan Harwood Grants
The Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program was established in 1978 and renamed for former OSHA Office of Risk Assessment Director Susan Harwood in 1997.
In a 17-year career with the agency, Harwood helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.
The grants are for nonprofit organizations, including community, faith-based, grassroot organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes and public/state colleges and universities to provide free workplace safety and health training.
The funding opportunity categories include:
2022 Safety Grants
Last year, in March, OSHA announced the availability of more than $3.2 million in funds to train and educate workers and employers on workplace health and safety. The announced grant opportunity, which has been made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, aims to help workers and employees identify and prevent work-related infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
To be eligible, training topics needed to focus on either on COVID-19 specifically or infectious diseases broadly. The maximum awarded for each grant was $160,000 for a 12-month performance period. Successful applicants would receive a FY 2021 and/or FY 2022 Harwood training grant and a Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including COVID-19 grant in the same year.
In September, the DOL also announced the award of $11,746,992 for the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. A full list of fiscal year 2022 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program awards can be found here.
Recent Safety Program
At the beginning of the month, OSHA announced that it has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls in the construction industry. According to the administration, falls are the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections.
The emphasis program will reportedly focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries. The targeted enforcement program is based on historical Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA enforcement history, including data showing that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, or about 13% of all deaths.
OSHA reports that the program establishes guidance for locating and inspecting fall hazards and allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights.
Additionally, an outreach component of the program will focus on educating employers about effective ways to keep their workers safe. If a compliance officer determines an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.
In December, OSHA revealed its annual top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2022. Fall Protection – General Requirements remained at the top of the list for the 12th year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication and Respiratory Protection.