OSHA awards $2.75 million in grants for fall protection
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Sept. 22 awarded $2.75 million in Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grants to 16 organizations, including nonprofit and community/faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities.
The University of Alabama will use grant funds to develop and implement a fall protection program for the construction industry in Alabama and Mississippi. Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Any time a worker is at a height of four feet or more, the worker is at risk and needs to be protected. OSHA requires fall protection at six feet in construction.
The training materials will focus on fall hazard recognition, avoidance, abatement and control. The grant is for $191,000. These grants will assist organizations in providing safety and health training, and educational programs for workers and employers. The $2.75 million is in addition to the $8 million OSHA awarded Sept. 9 to 45 organizations for the Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants.
Targeted Topic Training Grants are one-year grants that support the development of quality occupational safety and health training materials and programs for workers and employers addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. Earlier this month, OSHA announced the multi-year Susan Harwood Capacity Building Grants that build capacity in organizations to provide training and related services to workers and employers.
“This grant program is a crucial component to our 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 law,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a prepared statement. “The education and training organizations 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,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.
The Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant Program was 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. The targeted topic grants support workplace occupational safety and health programs in both construction and general industry 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.
Additionally, the grant provides funds to develop training materials to train workers and employers to recognize, avoid, abate and prevent safety and health hazards in their workplaces. The agency received a total of 168 targeted topic grant applications.
This grant program is an important component of OSHA’s efforts to provide workers in high-risk industries with training about job hazards and their rights, the government agency says in a press release.
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