This Friday in Butte, the Montana State Fund will present scholarships to 15 students to promote safety in the workplace.

Ethan Heverly, Director of Government and Community Relations for the Montana State fund provided background information on the scholarships.

“We’re really excited about these scholarships,” said Heverly. “This is the third year for the ‘Growing Safer Montana’ imitative scholarships. We’re rolling out 15 scholarships to Montana students who are focusing their area of study on occupational safety and health for trades such as construction. Montana, historically, has been the highest in the nation for workplace accidents and fatalities. That is to say that we injure and kill more people on the job than most any other state in the country.”

Heverly said Montana State Fund is getting the message to promote safety to workers as they prepare to enter the building and construction trades.

“These students come primarily from western and central Montana, and they’ll be receiving their scholarships this Friday at the Copper King Hotel and Convention Center in Butte,” he said. “Montana is facing a wave of retirement, especially in the construction trades. Those are very high-hazard industries and occupations in most cases and we’re the state’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance company and we want to see workers stay healthy. The best accident is the one that never happens. Our goal is to drive that accident frequency down.”

Haverly said the scholarships are the second tier in providing a safer workplace, the first being personal protective equipment through PPE grants to high schools.