Wildfire smoke safety, suicide prevention among program areas
Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has awarded four grants totaling more than $150,000 to help develop workplace safety and health education and training programs.
The recipients are:
Northwest Forest Worker Center: Smoke Safety for Forest Workers
The nonprofit group will produce a training program to help Latino forest workers in Jackson and Josephine counties eliminate or reduce their exposure to smoke from wildland fires.
Although there is little research on the effects of workplace exposure to wildfire smoke, the available evidence suggests forest and other outdoor workers face a higher risk of developing short- and long-term health problems related to wildfire smoke exposure.
The training provided by the Northwest Forest Worker Center will engage workers in interactive exercises. The nonprofit will measure progress in several ways, including debriefing trainers and interviewing workers several months after they receive the training.
Grant award: $40,000
University of Oregon: Safety Voice for Ergonomics Masonry Craft Expansion
The university will expand an existing training program – Safety Voice for Ergonomics (SAVE) – to help masonry craft workers prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
The rates of such injuries are high among construction workers, including masons. The rates are disproportionately high among younger workers, such as apprentices. These injuries can disable workers and cause them to leave their trade prematurely.
The university will expand SAVE materials, which now focus on brick and block apprentices, to include workers in the tile/terrazzo/marble and restoration fields. The training materials include interactive activities, discussions, and quizzes. Safety communication training also will be provided to help workers speak up when they see hazards and to resolve conflicts as they arise.
Grant award: $40,000
UA Local 290 Apprentice Labor Management Cooperative Committee: Apprentice Peer Support Program
This project will train and empower a group of apprentice peer support leaders to recognize and respond to mental health distress and suicidal behaviors among their peers and colleagues. The goals are to raise awareness of mental health and to prevent suicides.
The project is in response to the fact that suicide rates in the U.S. are rising. In fact, males in the construction and extraction industries are at heightened risk of suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The peer support leaders will be trained to know how to talk about mental health and suicide, and how to connect fellow apprentices to resources when they need help.
Grant award: $39,510.20
SafeBuild Alliance: Enhancing Construction Safety for the Latino Population
SafeBuild Alliance will work with LatinoBuilt, a trade association for Latino contractors in Oregon, to improve safety training for Spanish-speaking workers.
Injuries have decreased for English-speaking workers in construction, but have not done so for Spanish-speaking workers. Meanwhile, the number of Spanish-speaking workers in Oregon’s construction industry is on the rise.
To address this problem, SafeBuild Alliance will seek to achieve two primary goals: increase the ability of construction companies and labor organizations to provide safety training for workers whose first language is Spanish and provide training in Spanish for Spanish-speaking workers.
Grant award: $39,000
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.
Learn more about applying for grants.