Susan Harwood Training Grants Announced

OSHA recently announced that $10.1 million in grants were awarded through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program in 2013. Grants are awarded to organizations to help them provide training and educational programs for employers and employees, helping them improve safety in the workplace. This year there were 70 non-profit, community and faith-based organizations that received funds in the following categories:

  • Capacity Building Developmental
  • Targeted Topic Training
  • Training Educational Materials

Susan Harwood Grant Program

Susan Harwood Grant Program puts safety first The Harwood program is designed to provide one-year grants that fund the organizations effort to provide the training and education necessary to recognize workplace safety and health hazards, implement injury prevention measures and inform them of their rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act. In general, Susan Harwood fund’s target groups that are undeserved, low-literacy, and workers in high-hazard industries. Over 1.8 million workers have benefited from the program since 1978.

These grants reflect the department’s commitment to ensuring all workers and employers have the tools and skills to identify hazards and prevent injuries.

-Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

Program Overview

In 1978, OSHA established a grant program entitled New Directions that helped recipients become more self-sufficient. Many of these original recipients still continue to offer occupational safety and health training today. The original grants were awarded for up to five years, however after funding restrictions in 1990, were restructured.

The program was re-named in 1997 in honor of the late Susan Harwood, former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s Health Standards Directorate. Harwood passed away in 1996, but not before serving a 17-year tenure with OSHA. She helped develop OSHA standards to protect workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

Approximately $205 million has been awarded to about 1,000 non-profit organizations since 1978, providing training on various health and safety topics.

The programs funded by these grants are one of the most effective resources we have for providing important hands-on training and education to hard-to-reach workers in small businesses and dangerous jobs.

-Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels

 Are you Eligible for a Susan Harwood Grant?

The topics OSHA selects to focus on, vary from year to year. They are generally selected based on fatal statistics, national emphasis programs and pending regulations. The topics are then categorized by general industry, construction and others. From time to time, topics include safety and health issues from non-traditional industries or emerging topics, like nanotechnology and green industries.

Organizations that are eligible to apply:

  • Nonprofit organizations, including qualifying community and faith-based organizations, employer associations and labor unions.
  • State and local government supported institutions of higher education

State and local government agencies are NOT eligible to apply.

It is important to not that all training grants must target a specific audience. OHSA assigns preferences for grants in the following sectors:

  • Non-English speaking/limited English proficiency
  • Non-literate and low literacy workers
  • Young workers
  • Hard-to-reach workers
  • Workers in high-hazard industries
  • Industries with high fatality rates
  • Small businesses (less than 250 employees)
  • New businesses

How to Apply

The Susan Harwood solicitation for grant applications (SGA) opportunity is published by the Federal Register. After the SGA has been published, the government-wide site posts it. The site allows you to then submit an electronic application. Organizations must complete the registration process, which generally takes three to five days. Until the registration process is completed, your grant application cannot be submitted.

The 2013 deadline was June 13.

The agency provides a helpful tips page for completing and improving your application. If you need more information regarding the Susan Harwood Grant Program, you can send an email request to

By further advancing a culture of workplace safety and health, we help to eliminate the false choice between enhancing workplace safety and productivity.

-Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

Additional Resources