Michigan Announces $1 Million for Worker Protection Grants

The Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS) awarded 18 Consultation Education and Training (CET) Grants totaling $1 million to promote workplace safety and health.

"Employers today recognize that one of the most effective ways to increase profits is to provide a safe work environment," CIS Director Noelle Clark said. "These grants will provide employers with down-to-earth strategies to protect their workers from injuries and illnesses."

The CET Grant program is part of the CIS Bureau of Safety and Regulation (BSR), which is responsible for administering the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA). The MIOSHA program is dedicated to increasing workplace safety and health. The bureau's CET Division provides direct staff assistance to employers in a variety of formats. The CET Grant program provides additional options for safety and health education and training to employers and employees.

"One vital area of concern for employers today is preventing ergonomic injuries," BSR Director Doug Earle said. "A significant number of these grants will provide effective ergonomics evaluation and training."

The 18 statewide projects will include a wide range of training activities and proficiency levels. Many of the grants will offer interactive computer-based training modules and may include text, video, interactive questions and retention testing.

Most of the grants will focus on the performance goals identified in the MIOSHA strategic plan, including ergonomics training and back safety, construction safety, road builders safety, hearing conservation, hazard recognition and prevention, and training for health care and nursing home workers. Other grants include workplace violence, rapid intervention team training for firefighters, logging safety, safety and health training for new workers and safe work practices for agricultural workers.

Seventeen of the projects will focus on training programs, while one research grant will measure, quantify and evaluate protections concerning the noise level exposures of employees in the wood products industries.

Examples of the projects that qualified for funding:

  • Alpena Community College will provide targeted safety training in three key areas: manufacturing, construction and health care/long-term care. Additionally, it will obtain and share detailed survey data from four key employers that received CET training. This will demonstrate the impact of safety training.
  • Associated General Contractors will provide an interactive computer-based training program for the construction industry. The program is designed to provide easy access to the 14 standardized topic modules including confined space, electrical safety and fall protection.
  • Bay de Noc Community College will provide statewide training and services for the wood harvesting (logging) and the wood using industry with special emphasis on sawmills and secondary wood manufacturing.
  • Center for Workplace Violence Prevention will provide training to small-business owners and employees, human resource managers and field personnel about personal safety strategies, early warning signs of anger and aggression and early prevention, de-escalation and personal safety strategies, and managing high-risk situations such as terminations, downsizing, bomb threats, school violence, etc.
  • Eastern Michigan University will provide training for workers whose health and safety is threatened by the possibility of serious back injury due to using improper techniques while moving, transporting or repositioning patients.
  • The Michigan Aggregates Association will develop a hearing conservation and noise sampling training program. The program will consist of training and technical assistance, including an overview of noise rule and compliance issues, hands-on training in the use of dosimeters and sound level meters, and education about the importance of audiometric testing and the requirements.
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