Newly available grants focus on stopping spread of infectious disease, including coronavirus
September 8, 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced the award of 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 coronavirus health hazards, and identify preventive measures for a safe workplace. In addition to hazard control, the training will also include understanding worker rights and employer responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
The award includes “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grants funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The grants derive from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program, named for in honor of the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. In her 17-year OSHA career, she helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne 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 vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries. These grants are a critical element in supporting OSHA’s role in educating workers on their rights and assisting employers with providing safe workplaces.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Susan Harwood Training Grant Program
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
FY 2021 Grant Recipients
New Jersey State AFL-CIO, Community Services Agency Inc. Trenton NJ $200,000
New Jersey State AFL-CIO, Community Services Agency proposes to provide 1 to 4 hours of COVID-19 training to 1,010
employers and workers in manufacturing, food manufacturing, wholesale and retail grocery, food service, retail, electrical,
and critical infrastructure construction industries. The targeted audience includes essential, temporary, limited-English
proficient, young, and other at-risk workers in high-hazard/high fatality industries. Training will include PPE, personal
hygiene, and housekeeping. The organization plans to revise existing materials and will include a train the trainer training.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, RBHS-SPH Piscataway NJ $172,489
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, RBHS-SPH proposes to provide 4 and 7.5 hours of training on COVID-19 to 465
employers and workers in the building management/custodial and healthcare industries. The targeted audience includes
workers from high-hazard industries, limited-English speaking, small businesses, and temporary workers. Training will
include respiratory protection for airborne diseases/contaminants and managing a respiratory program for airborne
infectious diseases. The organization plans to use and revise existing training materials. Training will be in English and
Work Environment Council of New Jersey, Inc. Trenton NJ $85,000
Work Environment Council of New Jersey, Inc. proposes to provide between 1 and 4 hours of COVID-19 training to 227
employers and workers in the retail, warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, restaurant, transportation, and food service
industries. The target audience includes temporary, minority, youth, and other hard-to reach workers. Training will include
OSHA’s guidance on mitigating/preventing the spread of COVID-19. The organization plans to use existing training materials
and develop new training materials. Training will be in English and Spanish.