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Department of Labor & Industries offering new grants for innovative return-to-work ideas

Do you have an innovative idea for helping injured workers return to work soon after an injury? If so, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) would like to hear from you and may even help fund your project.

A new round of grants available through the Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) grant program makes money available to fund new projects that develop and implement effective return-to-work programs for injured workers to reduce long-term disability.

The grant money for return-to-work projects was made available as part of the workers’ compensation reforms passed by the 2011 Washington Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gregoire.

Promoting new return-to-work projects is an important part of the reforms because research shows that helping injured workers get back to work after an injury helps them recover quicker, reduces long-term disability and lowers overall workers’ comp costs.

The goal of the return-to-work project grants is to encourage new approaches to helping injured workers get back to work so that employers can have the processes in placebefore an injury occurs.

SHIP grants are designed to encourage new ways of approaching occupational health and safety challenges, as well as promoting cooperation between labor and management.

Since 2007 when the program was created, SHIP grants have funded 41 projects developed by labor and business organizations, agencies advocating workplace safety, and academic institutions in conjunction with an eligible partner.

For more information or an application packet, visit www.SafetyGrants.Lni.wa.gov or call 360-902-5588.

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