Forest workers, construction industry leadership among program areas
Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has awarded three grants totaling nearly $120,000 to help develop workplace safety and health education and training programs.
The recipients are:
Northwest Forest Worker Center: Safety and Health for Latino Forest Workers
The nonprofit group will produce a training program to help Latino forest workers in southern Oregon prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
Forest workers lift heavy objects, walk on steep and uneven terrain, and engage in repetitive motions. Such activities put them at high risk of developing injuries and disorders that affect the body’s movement. Data show that bodily reaction – which includes musculoskeletal disorders – was the third-leading cause of injury among forest workers in 2017.
The training program will be interactive, engaging workers in discussions that relate to their own on-the-job experiences. The goal is to equip workers with best practices in preventing musculoskeletal disorders as they plant trees, thin forests, and pile brush.
Grant award: $40,000
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association: Spanish First Hospitality Employee Handbook Template Tailored for Minority Employees
The association will develop an employee handbook designed for Spanish-speaking restaurant and hospitality employees and make it available in both print and digital formats. The project is intended to address the lack of such handbooks, which are often designed for workers who learned English as a first language.
By creating a culturally and linguistically appropriate employee handbook – accompanied by training – the association intends to increase communication and trust, and help Latino workers become more effective in their workplaces and reduce work-related injuries.
The association will evaluate the effectiveness of the project in several ways, including measuring the number of employers who choose to use the handbook and the percentage of businesses that identify improvements in minority employee retention and safety.
Grant award: $39,963
SafeBuild Alliance: Strengthening Construction Safety Culture by Developing Front-Line Leaders
The nonprofit group will develop a training and outreach project that will engage construction companies and labor organizations in identifying and cultivating front-line leaders who are capable of improving workplace safety.
As the construction industry flourishes in Oregon – and as the number of retirements of front-line supervisors increases – the need to find, promote, and train potential leaders from the field of employees grows.
The training and outreach project will encompass several activities, including developing a methodology to identify emerging leaders; building on foundational safety leadership programs; and sharing findings and recommendations with the construction industry on the alliance’s website.
Grant award: $40,000
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.