US Department of Labor awards $1.9M to 14 organizations nationwide to provide workplace safety, health training; recognize infectious diseases

Susan Harwood grants focus on training programs, worker rights

The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded approximately $1.9 million in grants to 14 nonprofits nationwide to fund education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize infectious disease hazards – including coronavirus – and identify preventive measures for a safe workplace.

Administered by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases training grants also include education on worker rights and employer responsibilities detailed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the grants derive from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program. As part of the $10 million funding availability supported by ARPA for Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the coronavirus grants, the department awarded more than $6.7 million in grants in 2021.

The program’s namesake was a former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. In her 17 years with OSHA, the late Dr. Harwood helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

OSHA awards grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, Native American tribes, and local and state-sponsored colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved, vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries.

A list of the recipients of fiscal year 2022 Susan Hardwood grants follows this release.

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