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Muskie School of Public Service awarded $116k grant to develop free workplace violence prevention training

The University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service has been awarded a $116,000 grant from OSHA to develop free workplace violence prevention training for small retail and food service businesses.

Such topics as the warning signs of violence, de-escalating violent situations and creating a workplace violence prevention plan will be covered in free, online lessons that will be available later this Spring.

The work is part of the ongoing collaboration between the Muskie School of Public Service and the Maine Small Business Development Centers. The Maine SBDC assists entrepreneurs and small businesses through no-cost confidential business advising and training. The workplace violence prevention program will be housed on the Maine SBDC’s website, along with trainings on other small business-related topics.

The funding is part of $9.3 million in Susan Harwood Training Grant Program grants awarded to 74 nonprofit organizations nationwide. The grants will provide educational and training programs to help employees and employers recognize serious workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures, and understand their rights and responsibilities.

“The funding provided through this Susan Harwood grant supports the development of a sustainable online training program for Maine’s small business retail workforce,” said Judy Tupper, the director of the Population Health and Health Policy Program at the Muskie school.  “We are pleased to apply our e-Learning skills to the very important topic of workplace violence and offer these training products to our community partners at no cost.”