Eligible Michigan small businesses can purchase equipment to bolster worker safety and health
LANSING, Mich.— Small businesses in Michigan with 250 employees or fewer can now apply for a Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) matching grant up to $5,000 to access the equipment and training they need to improve the safety and health of their employees.
“MIOSHA’s innovative grant opportunities are a critical tool to foster safe and healthy workplaces in Michigan,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Investments in this area uplift workers and businesses and create a thriving and prosperous economy that benefits all Michiganders.”
The MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health (MIWISH) grant program awards qualifying employers a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $5,000, to purchase safety and health-related equipment to support safer and healthier work environments.
MIOSHA awarded a total of $250,000 in MIWISH grant funding to 63 Michigan employers in 2022 and 2023. The Howell Area Fire Department used a $1,968 MIWISH grant to purchase traffic cones, safety vests for its entire staff, and eye wash stations at the department’s four fire stations.
“We began the process when we saw items covered in the grant could benefit the health and safety of our firefighters,” said Brian Anderson, Howell Area Fire Department deputy chief of operations. “The process was extremely easy to navigate, and I recommend all fire service agencies and employers look into the offerings of MIOSHA’s grants.”
Members of the Howell Area Fire Department are pictured wearing safety vests purchased with a MIOSHA grant aimed to improve workplace health and safety.
All eligible employers are encouraged to apply for the grants while funds last. Preference will be given to employers in high hazard industries identified in MIOSHA’s 2024-28 strategic plan and in industries covered by a State or National Emphasis Program. Industries covered under a State or National Emphasis Program include the following: Amputations, Cannabis, Heat-related illness, Metal Industries, Oil and Gas Drilling and Servicing Operations, Silica, Trenching and Excavation, Hexavalent Chromium, Combustible Dust, and Process Safety Management. All projects will be evaluated based on the specific hazards addressed.
“Our mission is to help employers reduce the risk of injury and illness in the workplace. This grant funding is significant because it enables more small businesses to access the equipment and training that ensures the safety and health of their employees,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman.
To qualify for the MIWISH grant program, employers must have 250 or fewer employees. The employer will need to have a qualified safety professional or safety committee conduct a site-specific evaluation justifying the equipment purchase. The applicant’s employer should have knowledge and experience to complete the project and commitment to implementation as well as match dollars for the grant money awarded and cover all estimated project costs.
Recommended actions must be in the form of equipment or work area modifications to be used to reduce workplace hazards. Only items referenced in the application can be considered eligible, within the proposed project.
Some equipment examples include:
- Residential fall protection systems
- Lifting equipment or portable lifting equipment for small nursing/residential care facilities
- Monitoring equipment for confined space entry
- Noise reduction engineering controls
- Lock out/tag out systems
- Cooling systems for agriculture-based worksites
- Eyewash stations
“Our organization represents many small businesses with limited resources for workplace safety and health equipment. Programs like this allow small employers to build up their safety culture and employee well-being without sacrificing their bottom line,” said Michigan Green Industry Association Executive Director Michelle Atkinson.
“Programs like this help employers navigate the day-to-day challenges while protecting their greatest asset and builds on a “culture” that is not only financially driven but includes the impact it can have on the longevity and well-being of their employees,” said Associated General Contractors of Michigan President Damian Hill.
The grant period began Oct. 1, 2023, the start of MIOSHA’s 2024 fiscal year, and will continue until grant funding is expended. MIOSHA encourages new grantees to take advantage of this program.
Previous Fiscal Year 2023 grantees may apply for funds after Jan. 1, 2024, if funding is still available.
For more information about the MIWISH grant program and how to apply, visit michigan.gov/mioshagrants or contact MIOSHA’s grant administrator at 269-275-7155.
For more information about MIOSHA, visit michigan.gov/miosha.