MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Safety and Health Extension will use a nearly $245,000 grant to help train oil and gas extraction industry workers to identify and prevent hazards at their work sites.

The two-year grant, awarded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will be used to create three training programs and related course materials. The training areas include exploration, production and well development.

Safety and Health Extension faculty will teach approximately 30, 8-hour hazard awareness training courses for oil and gas companies with fewer than 250 employees.

The oil and gas extraction industry has an annual fatality rate that’s approximately eight times higher than the rate for all other U.S. workers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“Hazard awareness is the foundation of ensuring a safe and healthful work environment,” said Wayne Lundstrom, WVU Extension assistant professor. “The grant money will help provide us with new means to communicate specific industry hazards, and more importantly, it gives workers the information needed to avoid exposure to those hazards.”

Course participants will have access to manuals, PowerPoint presentations and other materials involving protocol and hazard assessment. The materials will eventually be available for download on Safety and Health Extension’s Web site, iTunesU and YouTube.

A class schedule for the training programs is under development and will be released later this year.

OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grants are awarded for the development of training and education programs concerning recognition, avoidance and prevention of workplace safety and health hazards for employers and workers.

WVU Safety and Health is a unit of WVU Extension Service. Safety and Health faculty and staff provide technical assistance, safety and health training, and applied research services to public- and private-sector employers and employees.

For more information on Safety and Health courses and training, visit or call 1-800-626-4749.

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Ann Bailey Berry, WVU Extension Communications
304-293-5691; e-mail: