Raising Safety Awareness at Oil, Gas Sites

Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 03:11 PM gHale

Raising safety and health awareness in the oil and gas industry is the mission of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stand down.

OSHA, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network, commonly known as STEPS, is sponsoring a national stand down to raise awareness and promote safety and health practices at U.S. oil and gas exploration and production sites.

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The event at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, TX, broadcast nationwide to regional STEPS network locations.

“Too many workers are dying in the oil and gas drilling industry. Employers need to ensure that jobs are planned out, everyone has adequate training in all aspects of safety and workers need to be part of the planning,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health who spoke at today’s event. “We are telling employers that by identifying and eliminating hazards and training oil and gas workers to abate these hazards, you can save lives.”

The event featured remarks from Ryan Hill, program manager for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Western States Office, and included industry association round tables and case study presentations. Additionally, participants viewed a new video on respirable silica, and OSHA featured a video on incident statistics.

Following the stand down, participants were able to share safety and health information with workers and contractors by devoting a minimum of one hour to the task, in 15-minute increments at their work sites, until Jan. 30, 2014. To participate and record results, companies must register online.

Materials are available at the website and include videos, PowerPoint presentations, incident overviews, examples of inspection forms and a link to the recorded event.

A volunteer organization in south Texas started by OSHA and the oil and gas industry, since 2003 STEPS attempted to reduce injuries and fatalities. The organization has grown to include 22 independent networks serving 19 oil- and gas-producing states. Quite a few of the networks signed formal alliances with OSHA.

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