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USDOL report on funding and workplace fatalities released

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Employment and Training Administration (ETA) awarded American Samoa more than $1 million for five programs, which is administered by the Human Resources Department.


This is according to the USDOL annual report to the federal Interagency Group on Insular Areas, and the report also looks back at incidents documented by USDOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) pertaining to all territories.


The report says that for Program Year 2013 — covering July 2013 to June 2014 — American Samoa received Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds to operate employment and training programs and activities for Adults, Dislocated Workers and Youth. It also received Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) funds to provide subsidized, part-time community work based training for low-income individuals age 55 or older.


Accordingly, the territory, received $136,159 for WIA Adult; $225,553 for WIA Dislocated Worker; $144,308 WIA Youth (which is for the Summer Employment Youth Program); and $955,811 for SCSEP.


It was also noted in the report that following the 2009 tsunami, $25 million through Disaster National Emergency Grant (NEG) to awarded to the territory.


Also included in the report are worker fatalities for the territories as documented by OSHA going back to 2004. It says that since 2004 up to 2013 there have been 25 occupational fatalities that OSHA investigated in American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.


For American Samoa there were six worker fatalities, with the first in 2004 when a worker on a fishing boat slipped and fell 40 feet into a well in the hull of a boat. There was one each in 2005, 2009 and 2011.


However, for 2013 there were two fatalities — one in May when a painter fell 24 feet to the ground, and another in July, when a worker was electrocuted during a crane operation.