oil-industryOSHA formed a two-year alliance with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network (STEPS) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the end of 2014 to focus on the prevention of injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in the exploration and production sector of the oil and gas industry. Alliance participants are developing fact sheets and videos on the leading causes of fatalities in oil and gas exploration and production, providing OSHA materials and training resources for employers and workers, and supporting oil and gas safety stand-downs. Alliance participants also work closely with the National Occupational Research Agenda Oil and Gas Extraction Council, which seeks to identify and implement strategies to improve workplace practices within the industry.

An increase in worker fatalities in the oil and gas industry has been an unfortunate byproduct of the rapid employment growth in the industry. 112 workers were killed in the oil and gas industry in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the majority of fatalities occurring among workers with less than one year on the job. Oil and gas industry workers face a number of hazards, including motor vehicle crashes, fires, explosions and electrocution.

The National STEPS Network, founded in 2003, is a volunteer organization that includes industry operators and contractors, industry associations, OSHA and NIOSH representatives, and educational institutions who promote safety, health and environmental improvement in oil and gas exploration and production in U.S. onshore operations.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a U.S. federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent worker injury and illness.

The OSHA Training Center is offering OSHA 5810 – Hazards Recognition and Standards for On-Shore Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in Bakersfield, California, on November 16-19, 2015. This 4-day course, the result of a broad collaboration of oil and gas producers, service companies and industry trade associations, provides employees and employers the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control hazards common to the on-shore oil and gas exploration and production industry.