VPP Grant Award from University of Michigan to WHWB-US Member

Ann Arbor—Ms. Cheryl Schiller has been selected to the Visiting Partners Program (VPP) in Occupational & Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Michigan, part of the Center of Occupational Safety & Health Engineering.

Funds for the Visiting Partners Program have been provided through the Center of Occupational Safety & Health Engineering, which is a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health funded Education and Research Center.

Cheryl serves as Assistant Secretary for WHWB-US and is a member of the Board. A summary of this project is included below:

A personal note from Cheryl:  "I would welcome any of our members that have an interest and/or knowledge of this subject to contact me.  I am open to any and all suggestions as to how best to accomplish the goal of promoting safety and health awareness to the 1000's of volunteers who work tirelessly but not always safely in the service of others. Thank you in advance for your assistance.  I look forward to moving the project forward."

Project Summary:

Promoting Health and Safety Awareness Among Volunteer Workers at Disaster Recovery Sites

Volunteer workers, including many youth volunteers, provide an essential service in rebuilding communities affected by natural, man-made, or economic disasters. However, their work in disaster recovery cleanup, site rehabilitation, and construction activities can put them at risk for sustaining injuries or acquiring illnesses associated with these tasks. Most of these volunteers are recruited through community-based non-profits who, though responsible for the health and safety of their work teams, have limited technical assistance and resources to devote to developing necessary training programs.

The project aims to develop instructional tools to promote work site health and safety awareness for volunteers working in these environments by taking concepts from industry standards and customizing them for non-professional volunteers. The training tools that will be created are a Job-Site Analysis Checklist to help job coordinators identify hazards and risks before the commencement of work, a Volunteer Training Tool to instruct volunteers on how to recognize and protect themselves from workplace hazards, and a Job-Site Awareness Tool to serve as a type of “Pocket Job Hazard Field Analysis Guide” to be given to each volunteer or team leader.

The monetary stipend provided by the VPP would be used to subsidize the production of the materials which would then be distributed to community organizations and other NGO's engaged in these activities.  The final intention would be to make the products available from WHWB-US as a community outreach service. 


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