2016

For immediate release
Nov. 21, 2016

Contact information
Aaron Corvin, Public information officer
971-718-6973, aaron.corvin@oregon.gov

Forest worker, firefighter hazards among program areas

Salem - The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has awarded three grants totaling more than $92,000 to help develop workplace safety and health education and training programs.

The recipients ​are: 

Northwest Forest Worker Center: Preventing “Struck by Object” Accidents Among Forest Workers in Southern Oregon

The nonprofit group will develop training materials to reduce the risk to forest workers in Jackson and Josephine counties of getting struck by a falling tree or branch. Being hit by such objects is the leading cause of injury among workers in the forest services industry in Oregon.

The training materials will be videos – offered in Spanish and English – that engage trainees in discussions that connect to their own workplace experiences. Workers will learn best practices for preventing injuries, the legally required safety precautions, and their rights to a safe workplace.

The effectiveness of the training program will be measured in several ways, including debriefing sessions with trainers to gauge whether improvement is needed and follow-up interviews with workers to assess the effects of the training on their work practices.

Grant award: $40,000

City of Bend Fire Department: Injury Prevention Through Biomechanical Resilience Training

The City of Bend Fire Department will launch a training project designed to reduce injuries and claims costs among firefighters by improving the efficiency of their physical movements, and their flexibility and core strength.

Firefighters are prone to on-the-job sprains, strains, and tears, in part because the ergonomics of the basic task movements have not been addressed or corrected.

Although the fire department has a robust fitness and wellness program, there has been no systematic measurement of movement efficiency, flexibility, and core strength as they relate to specific movements for required tasks.

The training project will include development of therapeutic exercise prescriptions based on the results of a job-specific movement analysis. The project’s effectiveness will be measured through declining injury rates, claims costs, and time loss days.

Grant award: $30,710

SafeBuild Alliance: Identifying and Documenting Best Known Lean Safety Practices

The nonprofit group will create a training and information program that identifies and communicates the best methods of integrating lean principles – which call for eliminating waste and boosting efficiency – with safe work procedures.

The construction industry recognizes opportunities to reduce injuries to trade workers while becoming more efficient through lean principles. Moreover, many contractors have improved worker safety and health through related programs. However, the information about how to do that is often not passed on to other contractors and projects.

The program will pinpoint the best methods of blending lean principles and workplace safety procedures, develop and deliver training based on those methods, and make the information widely available to others.

The program’s success will be judged in several ways. Those include test surveys of those who receive training and a satisfaction survey of the companies that receive best-method analyses.

Grant award: $21,882.50

The Oregon Legislature launched the Occupational Safety and Health Education and Training Grant Program in 1990. Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA’s Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government.

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About Oregon OSHA:

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/ or follow www.twitter.com/OregonDCBS.