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State Awards $100,000 in Workplace-safety Grants

BOSTON — Seven Massachusetts employers — including one in Western Mass. — were awarded grants, totaling more than $100,000, to train 552 workers to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II announced.

The Department of Industrial Accidents Office of Safety administers and manages the Workplace Safety Training and Education Grant program to promote safe, healthy workplace conditions through training, education, and other preventative programs for employers and employees covered by the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law.

North Adams-based Berkshire Family & Individual Resources, a nonprofit, human-service organization providing support services for adults and children with disabilities, autism, and traumatic brain injuries, was awarded $10,165. Other grants were awarded to organizations in Lawrence, Dorchester, Roxbury, Boston, Wellesley, and Pepperell.

“It’s not just employers and workers who pay the price for occupational fatalities, injuries, and illness. Society often bears the indirect costs of medical treatments and lost wages and productivity,” Gov. Charles Baker said.

Added Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, “making employers and workers aware of workplace hazards and developing safety precautions and protocols can go a long way in reducing the costs of workplace tragedies.”

With $800,000 budgeted annually for the safety grant program, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) has funded hundreds of programs that have educated thousands of employers and workers in the Commonwealth. The new round of grants will be the last given out this fiscal year.

“These grants have made Massachusetts workplaces safer and healthier for thousands of employees and simultaneously created opportunities for trained workers to move into new or higher-paying jobs,” Walker said.

Grant recipients can be awarded up to $25,000 per entity each fiscal year. Employers were awarded training grants through a competitive application process through DIA.

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