Forest workers, suicide prevention among program areas
Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has awarded three grants totaling more than $103,000 to help develop workplace safety and health education and training programs.
The recipients are:
Northwest Forest Worker Center: Chemical Safety for Latino Forest Workers
The nonprofit group will develop a training program to help Latino forest workers and their spouses in Jackson and Josephine counties protect themselves against exposures to toxic chemicals.
The program, using videos and interactive exercises, will engage trainees in discussions that connect to their own workplace experiences. The program will equip trainees with best practices in the safe handling of pesticides and gasoline.
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
Oregon State University: Safe Design of Anchoring Systems in Logging Operations
Oregon State University will create safe design guidelines for anchoring systems used as part of logging operations. The goal is to improve the safety of forestry workers.
Anchoring systems are used in hauling logs by cable to landing areas. But as the industry moves into logging smaller trees, it has become more difficult to find large stumps to serve as reliable anchors. As a result, loggers must use multiple stumps or alternative anchoring methods.
The program developed by OSU will provide step-by-step guidelines for the use of these methods, including stump selection, and information about soil and site conditions. The program also will address emerging technologies, including tethered logging systems.
The university will develop the program with support from Associated Oregon Loggers and other industry representatives.
Grant award: $38,618
SafeBuild Alliance: Educating Construction Workers on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
The nonprofit group will develop and distribute information to raise awareness about the impact of mental health issues and suicide in the construction industry. People working in the construction and extraction industries had the second-highest rate of suicide, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of SafeBuild Alliance’s project is to help the industry identify mental health issues, and to provide resources for prevention and treatment of mental health issues and suicide.
Through this project, the group will provide information to construction workers and their families about how to get help and how to intervene. That information will include materials distributed on thumb drives, flyers, posters, hard-hat stickers, wallet cards, and online links. Several industry forums also will be held.
Grant award: $24,910
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.