Opinion: Apply For Workplace Hazard, Infectious Disease Training Grants

OSHA's Jim Frederick explains how the Department of Labor is helping workers through expanded OSHA training grants for non-profit organizations.

By Jim Frederick

At the Department of Labor, we’re dedicated to empowering today’s workers and building a better future together. One of the ways we’re bolstering that work is through expanded training grants to help non-profit organizations. This year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has funding opportunities for more than $21 million in training grants.

Jim Frederick training grants
Jim Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary, Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The first available funding is $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grants. The deadline to apply is July 26, and applicants must develop training that focuses on three program emphasis areas:

  • Identifying and preventing workplace-related infectious diseases, including the coronavirus, in industries with high illness rates, those employing frontline workers or those serving susceptible populations.
  • OSHA standards that address infectious diseases, including coronavirus.
  • Workplace hazards identified in OSHA special emphasis programs or other priorities associated with infectious diseases, including the coronavirus.

We know that training programs help keep workers safe and also help businesses operate more efficiently. The coronavirus pandemic presented unique challenges for all of us, and this available funding is an opportunity for non-profit organizations to develop programs that can help prepare for the future.

The second available funding is $11,787,000 in grants through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. Applicants can apply for funding through three different grants: Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and new Capacity Building grants.

  • Targeted Topic Training grants support educational programs that identify and prevent workplace hazards. These grants require applicants to conduct training on OSHA-designated workplace safety and health hazards.
  • Training and Educational Materials Development grants support the development of quality classroom-ready training and educational materials that identify and prevent workplace hazards.
  • Capacity Building grants assist organizations that need time to develop a plan before moving forward with a comprehensive safety and health education program, as well as expand their capacity to provide occupational safety and health training, education and related assistance to their constituents.

The Harwood Training Grant program supports remote and in-person hands-on training for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness, and fatality rates; and underserved vulnerable workers, who have limited English proficiency, or are temporary workers.

OSHA awards grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and local and state-sponsored colleges and universities to provide infectious disease workplace safety and health training.

Non-profit organizations can apply for and receive both an ARPA “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grant and the standard Susan Harwood Training grant. I encourage all non-profit employers or organizations to apply for this available funding and share these grant opportunities with eligible organizations.

American Rescue Plan grant applications must be submitted at www.grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 26, 2021. Susan Harwood Training Grant Program applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 23, 2021. Applicants must possess a D-U-N-S number and have an active System of Award Management registration.

Jim Frederick is the acting assistant secretary for the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).