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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [09/18/2009]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson
Phone Number: (202) 693-1898
Release Number: 09-1165-NAT

U.S. Labor Department awards more than $6.8 million in safety and health training grants

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today awarded more than $6.8 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to 30 recipients, encompassing labor unions, employer associations, colleges and universities, and other nonprofit organizations. The training grants cover a two-year period.

"Safe jobs are our priority," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Providing workers and employers the knowledge and tools they need to ensure safe working conditions is the best way to prevent workers from getting injured or killed on the job."

The Susan Harwood Training Grants support workplace safety and health programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high hazard and fatality rates, workers with limited English proficiency, hard-to-reach workers and supervisors, and small business employers. The grants support training programs that address hazards in both construction and general industry, such as crane safety, fall protection, combustible dust, and emergency preparedness and response (pandemic influenza). The agency received a record number of 345 applications this year.

The quality education and training 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 a crucial component to OSHA's efforts to provide workers with training about job hazards and their rights. It also provides employers with information about unsafe working conditions and their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970.

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. During her 17-year tenure with the agency, Harwood helped develop OSHA standards to protect employees exposed to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

Under the OSH Act, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
Public inquiries should be directed to Cindy Bencheck at 847-759-7726.

Editor's Note: A complete list of the 2009 Susan Harwood Training Grants recipients is posted at http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2009_grant_recipients.html.