WISHA on the Hunt for Innovators

Oct. 31 is the deadline to apply for a Safety and Health Investment projects grant from the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries.

The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries if offering a new round of Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) program grants as a way to encourage new ways of approaching occupational health and safety challenges and also promoting cooperation between labor and management. The state Legislature first funded the program four years ago with $8 million.

Oct. 31 is the application deadline.

SHIP grants thus far have funded 41 projects from academic institutions, labor, business organizations, and agencies advocating workplace safety. The Legislature added two new features to the program recently, funding projects that benefit small businesses and return-to-work programs for injured workers. L&I's announcement said the program "is particularly seeking projects that address work-related falls, injuries from workers being struck by equipment or objects, overexertion, workplace violence and musculoskeletal disorders, such as injuries to the back or shoulder. A priority will be given to projects designed to prevent these problems in several high-risk industries, including construction, trucking, hospitals and nursing homes, logging, or criminal justice. Special consideration will be given to projects that involve building effective safety committees and those that give organizations the tools to improve or build upon their workplace safety and health efforts."

There is no funding for return-to-work projects in this round, in which a maximum of $250,000 is available, but there will be in the future, according to the agency. Projects must be completed within 20 months. For more information or an application packet, visit www.SafetyGrants.Lni.wa.gov or call 360-902-5588.

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