Washington, DC (WorkersCompensation.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has awarded $10.5 million in one-year federal safety and health training grants to 77 nonprofit organizations nationwide. The grants will provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces. They will also inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the OSH Act.
The department's Susan Harwood Training Grants Program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries.
The fiscal year 2016 award categories are as follows: Capacity-Building Developmental, Capacity-Building Pilot, Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development.
"Education and training help employers keep our nation's workers safe and healthy, especially in high-hazard industries," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Organizations receiving the Susan Harwood Training Grants we are awarding today help employees and employers create safer, healthier workplaces."
OSHA is awarding approximately $3.6 million in new targeted-topic training grants to 28 organizations to develop materials and programs addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. These grant types require recipients to address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA, including silica, confined spaces, workplace violence and other workplace hazards.
In addition, 11 organizations will receive approximately $1.5 million in new capacity building grants to provide occupational safety and health training, education and related assistance to workers and employers in targeted populations. One of the 11 organizations will receive a capacity-building pilot grant designed to assist organizations in assessing their needs and formulating a capacity-building plan before launching a full-scale safety and health education program.
OSHA also awarded approximately $4 million in follow-on grants to 26 capacity-building developmental grantees and $1.4 million in follow-on grants to 12 targeted topic grantees that performed satisfactorily during the fiscal year 2015 grant year. 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.
"The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is one of the most effective ways we have for communicating with vulnerable and hard-to-reach workers in high-hazard industries who may not know how to avoid and prevent safety and health hazards in their workplaces," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Harwood Program grantees conduct safety and health training in 24 languages, helping workers understand their right to a safe workplace."
Since 1978, the program has provided training for approximately 2.1 million workers. The training grant program's name 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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