Susan Harwood Training Grant Program

Program Overview

OSHA awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis through its Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. 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 and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. Solicitation for the Susan Harwood Grant Program is a function of Congressional budgetary approval and appropriation by the Department of Labor.

Program Background
OSHA established its discretionary grant program in 1978 entitled New Directions. Grantees were awarded for up to five years, with grantees increasing its share of support with the goal to become self-sufficient. Many of the grantee organizations continue to offer occupational safety and health training to this day. In 1990 the grants were restructured, due to reductions in funding.

Susan Harwood
In 1997, the program was re-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.

Types of Grants
The types of grants solicited each year vary. Grants solicited in the past include Capacity Building grants, Targeted Topic, and Training Materials Development.

  • Capacity Building grants focus on developing and/or expanding the capacity of an organization to provide safety and health training, education and related assistance to the targeted audiences. The organization must provide financial plans to continue capacity beyond the grant period. Two types of capacity building grants have been awarded: developmental and pilot.
    • Developmental grants support and assist organizations who through their past activities have established a capability to provide occupational safety and health training, education, or related assistance, but where the organization wants to expand their training capacity into a new safety and/or health topic area.
    • Pilot grants are intended to assist organizations able to demonstrate a potential for meeting the objectives of this program, but that need to assess capabilities, needs and priorities; and formulate objectives before moving forward into developing a full-scale program.
  • Target Topic grants focus on training of workers and/or multiple employers on occupational safety and health hazards associated with one of the OSHA selected training topics.
  • Training Materials Development grantees are expected to develop, evaluate, and validate classroom quality training materials on one of the OSHA selected training topics.

OSHA Selected Grant Topics
OSHA selected topics vary from year to year and are selected based on fatal statistics, national emphasis programs, and pending regulations. Topics are separated into general industry, construction, and other. Other topics may include safety and health issues from other industries (maritime, oil and gas) or emerging topics, such as, nanotechnology and green jobs. See information on past awardees and topics.

Who is Eligible?
Organizations eligible to apply include:

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

State or local government agencies are not eligible to apply. Harwood grants have been awarded to various nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations professional associations, institutions of higher education, and labor unions.

How to Apply for a Grant
The Harwood solicitation for grant applications (SGA) opportunity is published in the Federal Register. Once published, the SGA is posted on the government-wide web site. allows organizations to electronically find and apply for Federal grants. is the single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by all Federal grant making agencies. Harwood grant applicants are required to submit their grant applications electronically through To apply organizations must complete the registration process, which takes 3 to 5 days. Grant applications cannot be submitted until the registration process has been completed. See Helpful tips for improving your application.

How to Find Training Classes
Interested parties can find out more about training classes being conducted by Susan Harwood grantees by contacting their OSHA Regional office. Each Regional office has a program coordinator that monitors the grant activities and training. For contact information, see OSHA Regional offices.

Best Practices for Training
A Best Practices for Development, Delivery, and Evaluation of Susan Harwood Training Grants document was created to assist grantees in developing, delivering, and evaluating training for workers and employers. Being a good training provider takes preparation, skill, and flexibility.

How to Access Grantee Training Materials
Many Harwood grantees develop training materials and products that address workplace safety and health hazards as a part of their grant activities. As applicable, OSHA posts the training materials, where they may be accessed and downloaded at no charge.

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 and limited English proficiency workers) and are available in a variety of formats such as training manuals, Power Points, pdf files, etc. Some products are also available in languages other than English such as Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

As additional training products become available, OSHA will post them on this site. Please note:

  • The training materials do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  • These materials are copyrighted and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Users must respect and comply with all copyright laws and must agree to the terms of use as described on subsequent Web pages, before the materials can be accessed.

Additional Information
For more information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, please visit the OSHA website at or contact OSHA via email.