WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today awarded $10.1 million through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 70 nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations; employer associations; labor unions; joint labor and management associations; and colleges and universities. This program provides one-year grants to fund education and training programs for workers and employers to help them: recognize workplace safety and health hazards, implement injury prevention measures and inform them of their rights and responsibilities.
"These grants reflect the department's commitment to ensuring all workers and employers have the tools and skills to identify hazards and prevent injuries," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "By further advancing a culture of workplace safety and health, we help to eliminate the false choice between enhancing workplace safety and productivity."
The program supports in-person, hands-on training, educational programs and guidance on creating training materials. Some of the intended beneficiaries of these additional resources for training are: small-business employers; workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers, including those who are young, have limited English proficiency and are difficult to reach.
Approximately $1.6 million in targeted training grants have been awarded to 18 organizations not included in the FY 2012 program. OSHA has designated the following topics: fall protection in construction; agricultural safety, including grain handling operations; hair and nail salon hazards; ergonomic hazards; hazard communication for chemical exposure; injury and illness prevention programs; and workplace violence.
OSHA also awarded approximately $8.5 million in follow-on grants to 52 of the FY 2012 capacity building developmental grantees that performed satisfactorily during the last year and submitted awardable applications this 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 as well as small-business employers and vulnerable workers. They are expected to institutionalize organizational capacity to provide safety and health training on an ongoing basis.
"The programs funded by these grants are one of the most effective resources we have for providing important hands-on training and education to hard-to-reach workers in small businesses and dangerous jobs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.
These 70 awards follow the recently granted $1.2 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 to assist workers and employers engaged in Hurricane Sandy recovery and cleanup efforts in affected areas in New Jersey and New York. The five nonprofit organizations that received grants are: Communication Workers of America District One, Education and Training Institute Inc., National Day Laborer Organizing Network, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health and the Work Environment Council of New Jersey. Over the past several months, grantees developed training materials and have been using the awarded grants to fund training and education to 5,600 workers and employers, and they will continue to do so over the next 13 months.
The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is an essential component of OSHA's efforts to provide workers in high-risk industries with training about job hazards and their rights. Since 1978, approximately 1.9 million workers have been trained through this program. The training grant program is named in honor of Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's former Directorate of Health Standards, who passed away in 1996.
For information about the two types of FY 2013 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients, visit www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2013_grant_targeted_recipients.html and www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2013_grant_recipients.html.
Information about the grants awarded under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act can be viewed at www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/2013_Disaster_Relief_Grant_Abstracts.html.
More information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html. Public inquiries should be directed to Heather Wanderski or James Barnes , or by phone at 847-759-7700.
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.