University of Central Missouri: Professor Wu Awarded Third Federal Grant to Protect Workers in High-risk Industries from Electric Arc Injuries

Dr. Miaozong Wu, CSP, ARM, associate professor and program coordinator of the Master of Science in Occupational Safety Management at the University of Central Missouri, was recently awarded a $131,250 grant from the United States Department of Labor (DOL). UCM is the only institution in Missouri to receive funds through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Susan Harwood Training Grant program. Prior to this new grant, Wu and his team successfully completed two other OSHA Susan Harwood grants between 2019 and 2021.

The grant will enable Wu and his team to develop new knowledge about electric arc hazards and advanced electric arc protections. The project will provide free training opportunities and resources to workers and employers from small business companies, including construction, manufacturing, utilities, maintenance, agriculture, and service industries, and to those young, temporary, hard-to-reach workers at risk of exposure to electric arc at their workplaces. Wu said his team’s continuing efforts related to electric arc safety are to build a new capacity to prevent the occurrences of catastrophic incidents, protect workers from electric arc and related burn injuries, and prevent business losses for high-hazard industries.

The project team assembled by Wu includes electric arc safety experts. Mikhail Golovkov, 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 and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CSP, CIH), has diverse occupational safety and health background including most recently working under contract with the Department of Defense Electrical Safety Working Group. Both Golovkov and Burdge have been training material developers for the past two OSHA grants. Steve Bloess, a recently retired UCM faculty member and experienced OSHA construction safety trainer, will join the team and work on this new project.

Sarah Craig, director of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity at UCM, congratulated Wu and his team for another federal grant, noting, “The work being done by Dr. Wu and his team will have lasting impacts in electrical safety throughout the region and country by ensuring that proper training and safety guidance is available and accessible to workers and employers.”

“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.), member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds Department of Labor programs. “I hope this capacity building developmental grant will successfully lay the groundwork for more workers and students to be able to take part in critical safety training.”