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OSHA Awards $10.5M in Workplace Safety, Training Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded $10.5 million in one-year federal safety and health training grants to 80 nonprofit organizations across the nation for education and training programs to help high-risk workers and their employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures and understand their rights and responsibilities.

The department's Susan Harwood Training Grant 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 2015 award categories are capacity-building developmental, capacity-building pilot, targeted topic training, and training and educational materials development.

“Susan Harwood training grants save lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The hands-on training supported by these grants helps assure that workers and employers have the tools and skills they need to identify hazards and prevent injuries.”

In its 2015 award, OSHA is awarding approximately $2.2 million in new, targeted topic training and training and educational materials development grants to 19 organizations to develop materials and programs addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. Both grant types require that recipients address occupational safety and health hazards designated by OSHA, including preventing construction hazards and hazardous chemical exposures.

In addition, 15 organizations will receive approximately $2.3 million in new capacity-building developmental grants to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to workers and employers in the targeted populations. Organizations selected to receive these grants are expected to create organizational capacity to provide safety and health training on an ongoing basis. Two of the 15 organizations received capacity-building pilot grants 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 $3 million in follow-on grants to 20 capacity building developmental grantees and $3 million in follow-on grants to 26 targeted topic grantees that performed satisfactorily during fiscal year 2014. 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 an essential component of OSHA's worker protection efforts. This program provides thousands of workers and small employers with hands-on training and education in some of the most dangerous industries,” said assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

Since 1978, approximately 2.1 million workers have been trained through this program. The training grant program 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.

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