By Jeff Murphy, October 30, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – A University of Central Missouri professor was recently awarded an $80,000 grant from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). For the second consecutive time, the PI/Project Director, Dr. Miaozong Wu, CSP, ARM, program coordinator of the Master of Science in Occupational Safety Management and associate professor of Safety Sciences at UCM, is receiving grant supports from the DOL for a new project that will focus on electric arc safety in high-hazard industries. UCM is the only institution in Missouri to receive funds through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Susan Harwood Training Grant program.
The grant will enable Wu and his team to develop new knowledge and electric arc safety training materials for employers and workers in high-risk industries, including construction and manufacturing, and those young, temporary, hard-to-reach workers from small businesses such as real estate, rental, and leasing industries. The project will provide training opportunities and resources related to electric arc safety to workers at risk of exposure to electric arc at their workplaces. Wu said the efforts are to prevent the occurrences of catastrophic incidents, protect workers from electric arc and related burn injuries, and prevent business losses.
Wu will have industry collaboration with electric arc safety experts on this project. Mikhail Golovkov (ArcFlash-CRT.com), a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), active member in Committee F18 American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), and a former member of the Technical Committee 78 (TC78) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), has contributed to the development of live working and safety standards. Gavin Burdge, a Certified Safety Professional (CSP, CIH), has over 30 years of experience in electrical safety, including working under contract with the Department of Defense Electrical Safety Working Group.
The team has worked together during the past fiscal year and successfully completed the previous OSHA Susan Harwood grant focusing on electrical safety in the wind energy industry. They have developed four-hour training materials including three topics “Electric hazards in wind industry: electric shock and electric arc,” “Protection against electric hazards: protective materials and PPE properties,” and “Safe energized electrical work standardization: normative regulations and other consensus standards.” These new training materials will be published by OSHA/DOL and will be made available to the public. Using the newly developed materials, the team successfully conducted a pilot training in July 2020 to workers from a Texas-based wind energy company.
Sarah Craig, director of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity at UCM, congratulated Wu and his team for another federal grant, noting, “The team has demonstrated its capacity to build strong partnerships with industry and field experts. Being able to provide state-of-the-art educational materials and training opportunities to workforces is critical to improve workplace safety and promote the business growth.”
“I’m proud to see the University of Central Missouri looking at new ways they can expand their capacity to help people get the skills they need for in-demand, good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds Department of Labor programs. “I hope the pilot program will successfully lay the groundwork for more workers and students to be able to take part in critical safety training.”
Individuals who are interested in learning more about this project, including how to participate in training opportunities, are encouraged to contact Dr. Miaozong Wu at email@example.com.