U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, helped secure a $73,769 grant for the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana to coordinate safety training.
The Portage-based group will use the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration funds to provide silica training to about 350 construction workers in Northwest Indiana. Workers and their employers will learn how to recognize, avoid, abate and protect themselves from breathing in crystalline silica, which has been linked to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, silicosis, kidney disease and other serious diseases.
“Our commitment to workplace safety is a reflection of that of the contractors and the building trades unions of Northwest Indiana," Construction Advancement Foundation Executive Director Dewey Pearman said. "The Susan Harwood grant award will allow us to create a safer workplace for the working men and women in the Northwest Indiana trades. We very much appreciate the assistance of Congressman Visclosky’s office in securing the grant.”
Very small crystalline silica particles are created by cutting, sawing, or crushing stone, rock, mortar or concrete, putting workers at risk of health problems.
"The Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana is a critical resource for training workers in our region and promoting best workplace safety practices," Congressman Pete Visclosky said. "I commend Mr. Pearman and everyone at the Foundation for successfully identifying and obtaining this federal resource that will allow them to further enhance their excellent work.”