Kelly Diaz-Rios / Contributing Writer
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) donated $360,000 in grants in September 2021 to the FIU Moss Department of Construction Management to offer students and local construction workers free construction safety training in fall prevention and employee rights responsibilities.
The training sessions are offered every Thursday and Saturday at the Engineering Center Campus.
“The [free safety training] helps people understand what hazards are and what rights they’re entitled to in the workplace,” said Enmaily Alvarez, a graduate student who facilitates OSHA training. “It’s important to know that because if jobs may seem unsafe for [workers] to do, they should not be retaliated against in the workplace.”
The training aims to help at-risk workers to evaluate their work conditions and learn their workplace rights.
Javier Garcia, a senior majoring in construction management, said that the preparation he learned at the training was valuable to his line of work.
“Safety and construction are very beneficial. People don’t take it very seriously. They just get in and go,” said Garcia. “I learned a lot and further solidified my knowledge of Construction Safety Training. Professor Huffman does a really good job. He made it very fun and three hours flew by like nothing.”
Nipesh Pradhananga, associate professor at the College of Engineering and Computing, said this grant allows FIU to offer free training for leaders in construction and hazard-induced workers in the field.
“The Department of Labor has allowed us to apply year after year so that we can receive grants to train anybody, for free, especially those who have limited access to training,“ said Nipesh Pradhanga.
The grant funds come from the Susan Harwood Training Grant program, in honor of the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment.
This initiative supports OSHA’s goal of teaching workers their rights and assisting employers to provide a safe workplace.
For more information and to sign up, visit https://safetytraining.fiu.edu/