Skip to main content

HandSAFE training brought to high-hazard industries by WVU Extension Service

Gloved hands holding industrial pipe.

West Virginia University Extension Service Safety and Health Extension is one of 90 recipients, nationwide, of the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Susan Harwood federal safety and health training grants, which provide training and education for workers and employers on workplace safety and health hazards, as well as their responsibilities and rights.

“The high-hazard oil and gas industry has a significant percentage of hand- and finger-related injuries,” Tiffany Rice, assistant professor for WVU Extension Service Safety and Health Extension, said. “This grant allows us to deliver HandSAFE training that focuses on these specific hazards that can result in these types of injuries.”

HandSAFE is a training centered on struck-by and caught-between hazards, job safety analysis, hand and finger injuries, and hazard assessments. The curriculum involves practical exercises and encourages workers to problem solve the best work practices and hand placement strategies for tasks. In addition, workers are educated on their rights and employer responsibilities according to OSHA regulations.

WVU Extension Service Safety and Health Extension experts will provide training for workers of all types, but specifically small business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in a variety of high-hazard positions.

“The Susan Harwood Training grant allows us the opportunity to provide safety training to workers that we typically would not be able to reach through our other training efforts,” Brandon Takacs, former associate professor and past director of the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at the WVU Extension Service Safety and Health Extension, said. “Additionally, with this grant we are able to develop training topics specific to industries within our region.”

The HandSAFE training curriculum was developed by researchers and industry professionals at WVU Extension Service Safety and Health Extension, Appalachian Service, Transmission, Exploration, Production Safety (STEPS) Network, and participating oil and gas companies.

To schedule a training for your employees or attend a train-the-trainer course, contact Tiffany Rice at 304-293-2852 or

For more information about WVU Extension Service, visit or follow @WVUExtension on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 



CONTACT: Lindsay Wiles
Communications Specialist, Sr.
WVU Extension Service