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ISSA Awarded OSHA Grant for Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases

September 14, 2022 ISSA Awarded OSHA Grant for Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases

ISSA is one of 14 nonprofits nationwide to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for workplace safety and health training on infectious diseases, including COVID-19.  

ISSA has been awarded US$158,957 to be used to provide infection-prevention training to frontline workers in the cleaning industry. This includes cleaners, environmental service workers, custodians, restorers, remediators, and limited-English-proficiency workers who are linked to ISSA-member companies.

“Frontline cleaners play a critical role in protecting human health by preventing transmission of an ever-growing array of harmful, and in some cases, deadly infectious diseases,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “We are honored to be able to enhance and expand, through this grant, ISSA’s expert infection-prevention training to more frontline workers in the cleaning industry.”

The association plans to use guidance and materials developed by OSHA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and ISSA, including a facilitator guidebook, student handbook, and workshop presentation. Training will be conducted in English, Spanish, Polish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Haitian Creole.

“This training will help ensure small businesses and vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries are as prepared as possible in today’s ever-changing health landscape,” said Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, Senior Director Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, who will serve as project director and master trainer for the OSHA grant. “This grant helps bring critical cleaning for health skills to frontline workers across the U.S., one of GBAC’s and ISSA’s most important ambitions.”

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the OSHA grants derive from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program. The program’s namesake was a former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. In her 17 years with OSHA, the late Dr. Harwood helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead in construction.