Monday, October 26, 2009

OSHA awards more than $6.8 million in safety and health training grants

On Sep. 18, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded more than $6.8 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants, which cover a two-year period, to 30 recipients, encompassing labor unions, employer associations, colleges and universities, and other nonprofit organizations.

The training grants are named in honor of the late Susan Harwood, who was a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's health standards directorate and died in 1996. During her 17-year tenure with the agency, Harwood helped develop OSHA standards to protect employees exposed to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

The agency received a record number of 345 applications this year. The Grants support workplace safety, health programs and training programs. This grant program is a crucial component to OSHA's 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 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, under which, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.

"Safe jobs are our priority," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Providing workers and employers the knowledge and tools they need to ensure safe working conditions is the best way to prevent workers from getting injured or killed on the job."

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