Worker Safety and Health Training Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced the availability of $10.5 million in grants from the Susan Harwood Training Grants Program.  OSHA calls the Susan Harwood Training Grants program essential in its efforts to promote workplace safety and protect workers.

What is the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program?

First of all, the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program , in place since 1978, is within OSHA’s budget.  This program awards grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations.  Nonprofits include community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities.

Furthermore, Susan Harwood Training Grants fund training and education to employers and workers on workplace safety and health hazards, responsibilities and rights.  This training helps workers and employers to recognize, avoid, and prevent workplace safety and health hazards.  The grant supports in-person, hands-on training for workers and employers.  Training materials developed or training conducted serves workers in one or more of these areas:  small business (less than 250 employees), high-hazard industries, industries with high fatality rates, workers with limited English proficiency, non-literate or low literacy workers, temporary workers, minority or other hard-to-reach workers.

Consequently, there are three areas of grant availability:

  • Targeted Topic Training grants to support educational programs which concentrate on identifying and preventing workplace hazards. These grants have a requirement for applicants to include training on OSHA-designated workplace safety and health hazards.
  • Training and Educational Materials Development grants to create quality classroom-ready training and educational materials with a focus on identification and prevention of workplace hazards.
  • Capacity Building grants to support organizations developing new capacity for conducting workplace safety and health training programs. These grants have a requirement to provide education based on the needs of a specific audience or a set of related topics.

Availability of Previously Produced Training Materials

Each year in the fulfillment of grant activities, grantees develop training materials and products.  Materials and products address workplace safety and health hazards.  Because the placement of these materials are on OSHA’s website, the materials are available to a wide audience.  Businesses, workers, and employers can access these materials for free.  Simply access the Harwood Web page.  Arrange grantee materials by topic, by language, or by grantee and download materials as needed.  There are a variety of formats such as training manuals, PowerPoints, and pdf files.  In addition, some products are available in another language such as Spanish.  Keep in mind that grantee developed products have been tailored to meet the needs of various audiences such as young workers, non-English speaking workers, limited English proficiency workers, or employers.

Importance of Fall Protection and Workplace Safety Training

In 2018 OSHA’s top most frequently cited safety and health violation was Fall Protection.  Falls are among the most common causes of work related injuries and fatalities.  Falls can be prevented.  Successful reduction of workplace injuries and fatalities requires consistency in efforts to prevent and control hazards. Certainly workers need to be able to identify fall hazards and procedures to minimize fall hazard risks.

Furthermore, OSHA’s top 9th most frequently cited safety and health violation was Fall Protection – Training Requirements.  According to OSHA Standard 1926.503, employers must provide a training program for employees exposed to fall hazards.  Training needs to include the nature of fall hazards in the work area, use and operation of guardrail systems, warning line systems, controlled access zones, and more.  Go here for EDGE Fall Protection products.

Harwood Grant Application Information

In conclusion, grant applications are submitted online at Grants.gov and are due no later than 11:59 PM EDT on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.  Applicants need to have a D-U-N-S number which is available for free from Dun & Bradstreet, and they also need an active System of Award Management registration.  For additional information, see the OSHA News Release.