Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Financial Assistance for Safety Related Projects that Reduce Employee Risk for Injury

Did you know there is a Safety Grant Program through the MN Department of Workplace Safety Consultation?
The Safety Grant Program awards funds, with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000, to qualifying employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury or illness to their employees.
Cities may apply for the grant by each city department if they wish. This way, each department can try to obtain equipment and/or training that is specific to improving safety in their own department.
Grant money can be used for:
  • All or part of the cost of purchasing and/or installing recommended safety equipment;
  • The cost of operating or maintaining such equipment;
  • The cost of property, if the property is necessary to meet the safety inspection recommendations;
  • The cost of training tied to equipment; and
  • Tuition reimbursement
To apply for the grant, you must:
  • Have workers’ compensation insurance
  • Be an employer with at least one employee
  • Have an on-site safety survey completed which results in recommended equipment or practices that will reduce the risk of injury or illness to employees
LMCIT Loss Control finds that many cities are having success in getting their grant application approved by having their internal Safety Committee conduct the on-site survey and make recommendations for improvement. However, there are other people that can conduct the survey for you (this is outlined on the website and in the application).
If you have an interest in applying for the Safety Grant, you should:
  • Complete and send an application to Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) - applications can be written or completed online
  • If additional information is needed, the employer will be notified.
  • Applications are accepted continuously, and grants are awarded monthly.
  • WSC reviews the applications; the WSC director recommends approval or denial.
If recommended for approval, the employer will receive contracts in the mail for signature.
The signed contracts are sent back to WSC for the commissioner’s signature. Upon receipt of the fully executed contract, signed by the commissioner, the application is approved and the contract is effective. (Note: Do not purchase equipment or provide training prior to the commissioner signing the contract or those items will be voided from the contract.)
Information, applications and other useful forms for the Safety Grant Program can be obtained at the following link: Safety Grant Program
Back in 1993, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry started this program to assist employers in making their workplaces safer and healthier.  Since budgets are tight, some cities are struggling to get the safety equipment and tools that are needed.  This grant program can help with that, and many Minnesota cities are making use of it.
Grant money is possible as the result of funds that are deposited in the Safety Grant account from fines levied against employers.  As such, the amount of grant money available can fluctuate over time.  The number of grants awarded varies depending on available funding, but can range from 150 to more than 200 grants awarded each year.

by Jackie Torgerson

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