On Monday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the beneficiaries of the 2014 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The program, which was introduced in 1978, awards grant money to nonprofit organizations to fund workplace safety training for both employers and workers. This year, a total of $10,687,000 have been granted to 78 organizations nationwide.
The awardees include community groups, employer associations, labor unions and several institutions of higher learning. The aim of the grants is to provide training to groups who typically don't have easy access to such programs, such as recent immigrants with limited proficiency in English and underserved youth. Also benefiting are small businesses which may not otherwise be able to afford such training and companies in industries with high fatality and injury rates.
"The Susan Harwood Training Program provides thousands of workers and employers with hands-on, critical health and safety training to reduce occupational injuries," said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. "The federal grants awarded today will provide workers and employers in some of the most dangerous industries with important tools to identify and eliminate hazards."
Assistant Secretary David Michaels, the head of OSHA, added, "Since 1978, approximately two million workers have been trained through this program, and it is one of the most effective ways we have for communicating with vulnerable and hard-to-reach workers."
Behavior based safety programs can train workers to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Approximately $4.5 million of the grant money will go to "Targeted Topic" training, to address the specific dangers of each workplace, and $2.8 million is for "Capacity Building," to improve an organization's ability to train and assist its own employees. The remaining $3.3 million are follow-on grants, awarded to 24 of last year's recipients who have demonstrated the ability to develop training programs and adhere to OSHA regulations.