CWU News

State L&I Grant Will Help CWU, AGC Develop Construction Safety Training Materials

For the third time in seven years, Central Washington University’s Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction (ETSC) program will benefit from a research grant from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

The $173,923 in funding from Safety & Health Investment Projects (SHIP) will go toward developing a series of construction site safety management case studies that will be used to train professionals around the region. 

The partnership between the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington, Oregon State University (OSU), and CWU begins July 1 and will run through the end of 2021. Funding and support for this project has been provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries, and Safety & Health Investment Projects.

“The previous two projects we have worked on for L&I have been very well-received, and this shows how happy the industry has been with our safety products,” said Sathy Rajendran, the ETSC department chair at CWU. 

“Being involved in projects like these helps forward our mission of producing top-notch safety professionals,” he added. “And through our research, we are also producing top-quality safety materials for the construction community.”

The current SHIP grant is the second where CWU has partnered with Mandi Kime, the AGC safety director and a CWU alumna (’01). The first project, which took place between 2013-15, was a best practices handbook for construction safety. CWU’s second SHIP project — a partnership with Comfort Systems Northwest, McKinstry, and OSU that lasted from 2018 until earlier this year — was a booklet that demonstrated 72 safety best practices for the mechanical contracting industry. 

Rajendran believes the safety materials CWU and its partners have been developing since 2013 are essential to the long-term success of construction industry.

“Construction worker health and safety continue to be big concerns, especially here in Washington,” he said. “The most important thing we can do is identify the hazards and then control them. Providing training resources is the best way to get everyone on the same page, and we believe that increasing their competency and knowledge will result in fewer injuries and illnesses.”

The newly awarded L&I grant will fund salaries, research, travel costs, publication costs, and marketing expenses. The finished product will be available online only, in both English and Spanish, and will feature 16 total documents — eight case studies for students and eight instructor manuals.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs; or 509-963-1518.