Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Susan Harwood Training Grant Program

Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Information

Through this program, OSHA awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis. Grants are awarded to provide training and education programs for employers and workers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces.

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program was named in honor of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s Health standards directorate, who died in 1996. During her 17-year tenure with the agency, Harwood helped develop OSHA standards to protect workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead in construction.

Based on annual Congressional funding, OSHA has an annual competition for grants. It historically has been published in the spring or summer for award by the end of the Fiscal Year, September 30.

The Harwood grants funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is published in the Federal Register. Once the announcement has been published in the Federal Register, the FOA is posted on the government-wide Grants.gov web site.

You may register at www.grants.gov to receive weekly e-mail notifications regarding federal grant announcements. Contact Grants.gov directly if you have any questions or problems regarding this website.

Nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, that are not an agency of State or local government, are eligible to apply. State and local government supported institutions of higher education are also eligible to apply. Please note that Harwood grants do not provide funding to individual workers seeking to fund their own training.

The category of grants offered each year varies. Historically, training grants are offered for Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and Capacity Building.

The annual available funds for the Susan Harwood Training Grant program is determined by Congress during the fiscal year budget cycle. Historically, the available funding for grant awards has been approximately $10 million dollars.

Targeted topics vary annually and are selected by OSHA based on such considerations as fatality statistics, new regulations or guidance documents, national emphasis programs, and identified regional needs.

All training materials developed and/or training conducted must serve multiple employers and workers in one or more of the following target audiences: small businesses (less than 250 employees), new businesses, limited English proficiency workers, non-literate and low literacy workers, young workers, temporary workers, minority and other hard-to-reach workers, and workers in high-hazard industries and industries with high fatality rates.

Organizations must submit their grant application at Grants.gov prior to closing date and time of the funding opportunity. Applications are reviewed by technical panels comprised of OSHA staff. The selection process includes reviews for program and technical elements, budget items, and organizational qualifications. Specific evaluation criteria are outlined in the funding opportunity announcement. The Assistant Secretary of Labor makes the final selection of applicants receiving awards. OSHA may award grants for some or all of the listed topic areas.

With each grant funding opportunity, OSHA establishes a maximum award amount an applicant may request. Applicants must determine their funding needs and submit their request for federal assistance based on the projected cost of their proposed training program. OSHA considers the funding requests and may award the requested amount or adjust the amount to meet Agency training needs as well as not exceed the amount appropriated by Congress.

Many Harwood grantees develop training materials and products that address workplace safety and health hazards as part of their grant activities. A link to the materials are found on the Harwood Web page, www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html, where they may be accessed and downloaded at no cost. As additional training products become available, OSHA will post them on this website.

The products developed by grantees have been tailored to meet the needs of various training audiences (e.g., workers, employers, young workers, non-English speaking/limited English proficiency workers) and are available in a variety of formats such as training manuals, PowerPoints, and pdf files. Some products are available in languages other than English such as Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

Harwood grants have been awarded to nonprofit organizations including professional associations, colleges, universities, and labor unions.

Each year OSHA releases award announcements that include the names of the organizations receiving grants. Information on current and past award recipients can be found at www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/grant_awards.html.

To find on-going training being conducted by current grantees, contact the Grants Program Coordinator at the Regional Office in which the grantee is located. Information about the OSHA Regional Offices is found at www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html.

Application Information

A funding opportunity announcement informs prospective applicants that OSHA is accepting applications for new training grants. A funding opportunity announcement is published in the Federal Register, and the funding opportunity announcement instructions are posted to Grants.gov. All applicants applying for a grant must use Grants.gov to submit their application. Applications will be accepted up until the date and time the funding opportunity announcement expires.

Based on annual Congressional funding, OSHA has an annual competition for grants. It historically has been published in the spring or summer for award by the end of the Fiscal Year, September 30.

The announcement for the Susan Harwood funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is published in the Federal Register. The FOA is posted on the government-wide Grants.gov web site. Grants.gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for Federal grants.

You may register at https://www.grants.gov/ to receive weekly e-mails notifications regarding federal grant announcements. Contact Grants.gov directly if you have any questions or problems regarding this website.

All applicants applying for a Federal grant must use Grants.gov to submit their application. The funding opportunity submission information, application instructions, and Grants.gov forms needed to apply for a grant are located on Grants.gov. Applicants must register to use Grants.gov. There is no charge to using Grants.gov. Prior to submitting an application, the applicant’s registration must be accurate, up-to-date, and active with Grants.gov and the System for Award Management (SAM). To maintain an active registration in the SAM database, an applicant must review and update their information annually. Inaccurate or expired information may result in rejection of the grant application.

Grants.gov, https://www.grants.gov/, is a web site used government-wide to allow organizations to electronically find and apply for Federal grants. All organizations who plan to apply for a government grant must register with Grants.gov. The Grants.gov registration process generally takes between one to two business days but may be as long as four weeks if steps are not completed in a timely manner.

Applicants using Grants.gov for the first time are strongly encouraged to register their organization immediately with Grants.gov. Follow the steps to “Register an Organization” with Grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html. It can take up to five weeks to complete the registration process.

The applicant must have an employer identification number (EIN), a Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number, and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM). A DUNS number may be acquired in one or two business days from the Dun & Bradstreet website, http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

Registering and maintaining an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) may require a notarized letter from the organization’s authorized representative. It is free to register and renew your registration with SAM at https://sam.gov/SAM/.

SAM is a Federal Government owned and operated free website that consolidates everyone who is interested doing business and receiving funds from the Federal Government. Registration is free and may be completed at https://sam.gov/SAM/. SAM registrations must be update-to-date and requires annual renewals to maintain an active registration.

To avoid delays that could result in the rejection of your application, the applicant must factor these processes into their plans for submitting their application.

Registration with SAM is free and applicants should not rely on third parties to engage in SAM registration for them. Third parties may misrepresent (intentionally or unintentionally) that they have obtained a SAM registration for the organization when they have not in fact done so. In cases where an applicant does not obtain and maintain an active bona-fide SAM registration, a grant application will be denied even if the applicant relied in good faith on a third party’s representation that an active bona-fide SAM registration was obtained.

Use the web address https://www.sam.gov/SAM/ to register with the SAM.

No, there is no cost to apply for a grant, or for completing and maintaining any required registrations with Grants.gov or the System for Award Management (SAM).

The category of grants offered each year varies. Historically, training grants have been offered for Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and Capacity Building.

Nonprofit organizations, including qualifying labor unions, community-based and faith-based organizations, and employer associations, that are not an agency of a state or local government, are eligible to apply. Indian tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities, Indian-controlled organizations serving Indians, and Native Hawaiian organizations are eligible to apply. Additionally, state or local government-supported institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. Please note OSHA does not offer grants to individuals seeking occupational safety and health training.

All training materials developed and/or training conducted must serve multiple employers and workers in one or more of the following target audiences: small businesses (less than 250 employees), new businesses, limited English proficiency workers, non-literate and low literacy workers, young workers, temporary workers, minority and other hard-to-reach workers, and workers in high-hazard industries and industries with high fatality rates.

Targeted topics vary annually and are selected by OSHA based on such considerations as fatality statistics, new regulations or guidance documents, national emphasis programs, and identified regional needs.

Organizations must submit their grant application at Grants.gov prior to closing date and time of the funding opportunity. Applications are reviewed by technical panels comprised of OSHA staff. The selection process includes reviews for program and technical elements, budget items, and organizational qualifications. Specific evaluation criteria are outlined in the funding opportunity announcement. The Assistant Secretary of Labor makes the final selection of applicants receiving awards. OSHA may award grants for some or all of the listed topic areas.

With each grant funding opportunity, OSHA establishes a maximum award amount an applicant may request. Applicants must determine their funding needs and submit their request for federal assistance based on the projected cost of their proposed training program. OSHA considers the funding requests and may award the requested amount or adjust the amount to meet Agency training needs as well as not exceed the amount appropriated by Congress.

To receive comments on the grant application, the organization's authorized representative must send an email request to HarwoodGrants@dol.gov. All requests must be on the organization’s letterhead and signed by the authorized representative as shown in Section 21 of the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, and/or identified as the authorized representative on the application summary document. In addition to the organization's application name, the request should include the following:

  1. Funding Opportunity Announcement number;
  2. Grants.gov Tracking Number (GRANT____________);
  3. Organization name;
  4. Training topic/category;
  5. Authorized representative’s name and complete mailing address, zip + 4; and
  6. Contact phone number or e-mail address.

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