OSHA Awards $10.7 Million in Training Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded $10.7 million through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 72 nonprofit organizations, including community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities.

The goals of the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program are to provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces, and 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. Since 1978, more than 1.8 million workers have been trained through this program.

The award categories for fiscal year 2012 grants include Capacity Building Developmental, Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development. Approximately $670,000 of the grant was awarded to four organizations responsible for training workers in warehousing.

"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,"

Sixteen new organizations have been awarded a total of $1.6 million in grants for Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development. Both grant types require that recipients address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA, and support the development of quality training materials and educational programs that address identifying and preventing workplace hazards.

OSHA has awarded approximately $785,000 in new 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. Organizations selected to receive these grants are expected to institutionalize organizational capacity to provide safety and health training on an ongoing basis.

An additional $8.3 million representing follow-on grants has been awarded to 49 FY 2011 Capacity Building Developmental grantees that performed satisfactorily during the last year and provided awardable applications this year.

"The programs funded by these grants provide thousands of workers and employers with critical health and safety training and education,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “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."

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. The 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.

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