Alliance Works To Reduce Bakken Oil Field Injuries

According to a November 75, 2016, press release, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed an alliance with the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National STEPS Network to “prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in oil and gas exploration and production.”

The STEPS Network, founded in 2003, includes oil and gas companies, contractors, industry associations, educational institutions and government representatives. Network volunteers promote oil exploration safety and health.

New Five-year Agreement

Over the next five years, alliance participants agreed to:

  • Develop and disseminate additional hazard alerts
  • Support standardized worker orientation training
  • Publicize results of pertinent NIOSH research

The agreement was signed at the Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference in Houston. It pertains to workers in the oil and gas extraction industry across the country, including in the Bakken.

Past Achievements

During the first two-year period of cooperation, alliance members worked on hazard alerts for tank gauging, an activity that has killed a number of workers in recent years. In some accidents, workers have been overcome by the rapid release of hydrocarbon gases when they opened the thief hatches of oil storage tanks. The alliance also focused on hot work, an activity which has killed 28 workers during the decade ending 2015.

Still, more work needs to be done. "While I am pleased with the work that we have done through our alliance, there are still too many oil and gas industry workers who are hurt or killed on the job," OSHA representative Dr. David Michaels said at the conference.

Odegaard Braukman Law provides legal services to Bakken workers that suffer oil field injuries. We offer an initial complimentary consultation. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.

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