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Safety leadership training for oil and gas workers provided by WVU Extension

An oil and gas worker dressed in blue safety attire and hard hat considers entering a permit-required confined space.

One of 93 recipients, nationwide, West Virginia University Extension Safety and Health Extension was awarded the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program grant to provide safety leadership training for up to 500 oil and gas industry workers and employers on workplace safety and health hazards.

“The oil and gas industries have long been known for their use of ‘stop work authority,’ however, practice in the field needs encouraged,” Tiffany Rice, assistant professor for WVU Extension Safety and Health Extension, said. “With this grant, we can deliver training that focuses on safety leadership within this industry—which can, in turn, help workers feel more comfortable stopping work during an unsafe situation.”

Fundamentals of Safety Leadership for Oil and Gas Workers is a three-hour training that uses leadership principles to identify the communication styles of workers and supervisors. Then, participants have the opportunity to put their newly acquired skills into use through interactive role play and photo-based activities similar to scenarios they would encounter in the workplace. The scenarios will focus on the highest work risks, including transportation, struck-by/caught-between hazards, confined spaces, falls and explosions.

WVU Extension Safety and Health Extension experts will provide training for oil and gas industry workers of all types, but specifically oil and gas hard-to-reach service and support companies, such as hydraulic fracturing.

“The Susan Harwood Training grant allows us the opportunity to provide leadership safety training to workers that are typically outside of our purview,” Brandon Takacs, former associate professor and past director of the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at the WVU Extension Safety and Health Extension, said. “Additionally, with this grant we are able to develop targeted topic training specific to industries that are prominent within our region.”

The Fundamentals of Safety Leadership training is based on elements of leadership training material developed by the Center for Construction Research and Training. For more information on the training, contact Tiffany Rice at 304-293-2852 or

This material was produced under Susan Harwood Training Grant number WVU SH-37158-SH1 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does 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. The U.S. Government does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process disclosed.

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CONTACT: Lindsay Wiles

Communications Specialist, Sr.

WVU Extension