- Worker safety got a boost earlier this week when OSHA awarded $10.5 million in one-year federal safety and health grants to provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in the workplace.
- The grants' 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 Development, Capacity-Building Pilot, Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development.
- The funds, which will go to 77 nonprofit organizations nationwide, also inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the OSH Act, according to the Labor Dept.
The Labor Dept.'s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program "is one of the most effective ways it has 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," according to assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels.
While the grant amounts are not large overall, they will provide help for employers who might otherwise not have the funds for training or keeping their workers safer on the job, especially for high-risk jobs. For example, situations involving silica, confined spaces, workplace violence and other workplace hazards are all within the training efforts. With the high number of Americans still losing their lives in the workplace, the grants make sense.