Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Applauds $1.4 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to the University of Massachusetts Lowell

Washington, July 30, 2020

LOWELL, MA - Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) applauded the $1,475,843 in federal funding, dispersed in the form of two federal grants, awarded to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be used to help further health and safety training programs at the University. 

“Ensuring that our workers are well trained and equipped to respond to all situations that they may encounter in their work is essential to having a future that runs smoothly and efficiently. I am very happy to see funding going to prepare these workers to keep themselves and those around them as safe as possible in their respective fields,” said Congresswoman Trahan

The first award, totaling $1,325,843, will be used to further Hazardous Materials Worker Health and Safety Training at the University and will occur under the direction of Dr. David Turcotte, Sc.D. The program will train workers exposed to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, hazardous materials, responding to disasters and post-event cleanups, at risk for workplace injuries and the misuse of opioids, and workers from underserved populations through high-quality training based on evidence-based science and best practices in worker health and safety. 

“This NIEHS grant allows us to continue and expand our efforts to protect the lives and health and safety of vulnerable workers from hazards, such as COVID-19, toxic chemicals and other dangers in the workplace,” said Dr. David Turcotte,Sc.D., Principal Investigator of the Hazardous Materials Worker Health and Safety Training 

The second award, totaling $150,000, will support Occupational Health and Safety Training and will occur under the direction of Dr. Bryan Buchholz, Ph.D. The purpose of the Work Environment Training Program Grant (TPG) is to educate and train work environment professionals to develop and promote safe, healthy, just, and sustainable workplaces. Students in the TPG can specialize in one of two areas: Occupational Safety/Ergonomics, or Occupational Epidemiology. 

“Work is one of the most important determinants of a person’s health. The nation’s workforce spends a quarter of their lifetime, and up to half of their waking lives, at work or commuting. Despite improvements in occupational safety and health over the last several decades, workers continue to suffer work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. The workplace, therefore, provides a unique forum for public health action and offers many opportunities for engineers to contribute to primary prevention through better design of tools, workstations, and job schedules.  However, addressing occupational safety and health problems effectively poses numerous challenges,” said Dr. Bryan Buchholz, Principal Investigator of the Occupational Health and Safety Training and Professor and Chair of UMass Lowell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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