U.S. Department of Labor Awards Millions of Dollars Dedicated to Worker Safety and Health Training

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Millions of Dollars Dedicated to Worker Safety and Health Training

Agrisafe Network grants focus on stopping the spread of coronavirus in Iowa.

OSHA awards more than $6.7 million in grants to 37 nonprofit organizations nationwide to fund education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize infectious diseases, including COVID-19 health hazards as well as identifying preventative measures for a safe workplace. In addition to hazard control, the training will also address worker rights and worker responsibilities.

Based in Peosta, Iowa, Agrisafe Network received a $200,000 grant to provide one hour of coronavirus training to 600 employers and workers in the agricultural industry available to “limited-English-speaking” workers. Training will include contact tracing to prevent coronavirus transmission and zoonotic diseases in agriculture as well as the development of English and Spanish language training materials.

This award includes “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grants by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The grants come from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program. Harwood was the former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment before her passing. In her 17-year OSHA career, she helped develop federal standards to protect workers from blood borne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

The program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved workers in hazardous industries. According to a press release, these grants are a critical element in supporting OSHA’s role in educating workers on their rights and assisting employers with providing safe workplaces.

Learn more about the 2021 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients here.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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