September 22, 2023

OSHA awards $12.7M in grants, DWC proposes updates to fatal claims handling and more

male inspector handling paperwork

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA awards $12.7M in grants to 100 nonprofits

OSHA awarded approximately $12.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to 100 nonprofit organizations across the country. These funds will support training efforts involving serious workplace hazards, injury prevention, employee rights and employer responsibilities. This year, more than one-third of the awardees will conduct training in the southern U.S., which OSHA hopes will improve safety education for a large portion of vulnerable and underserved employees.

The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)

DWC proposes rules on claims for death benefits

DWC proposed amendments and a new section to a rule concerning claims for death benefits. The new rules would require insurance carriers to copy DWC when sending a notice of potential workers’ comp death benefits to a beneficiary. Beneficiaries would also be able to file death benefits with either their insurance carrier or DWC. The proposed rules will be published on September 29 and comments will be accepted until October 30.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

DOL awards over $1.5M to prevent gender-based violence and harassment

The DOL awarded over $1.5 million in Fostering Access, Rights and Equity (FARE) grants to five community organizations, including a Texas Mutual policyholder, that work to prevent and respond to gender-based workplace violence and harassment against underserved and marginalized women employees. Grant recipients will provide support, including materials to raise awareness, prevention programs and opportunities for women to become leaders in their communities.

Studies, resources, trends, news

Employees in moderately hazardous environments may take less precautions

Waterloo University researchers found that employees may be more likely to underestimate the safe behaviors needed to avoid injuries and illness when working in moderately hazardous environments than those in highly hazardous jobs. The researchers recommend safety training that helps employees understand the need to increase safe behaviors based on changing hazards in the workplace.

Technology can improve safety for seasonal employees

An EHS Today article explores how seasonal employees are more likely to experience workplace accidents due to a lack of training, newness to their environment and pressure to contribute quickly. The article explains how technology can be an employee-friendly and cost-saving solution to help mitigate these risks. Solutions offered include training videos, wearables and communication platforms.