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Summary of Potential Hazards to Deepwater Horizon Response Workers

Potential HazardRisk AssessmentEvaluation CriteriaRecommendation
Cardiovascular DiseasePre-placement physical: BMI*, BP, pulsePhysician's evaluationFor excess risk, assign to light duty, low demands, air conditioned environment
Heat StressTemperature, humidity, work loadHealth surveillanceTraining program, acclimatization, monitored hydration, work-rest regimen
Traumatic Incident StressMental and emotional healthPhysical complaints, thinking problems, changes in behavior, mood, irritabilityMaintain adequate nutrition, hydration, rest; work in pairs to look out for buddy
FatigueWork hours and schedulesManagement of hours workedShifts < 10 hours; 2 rest days after 3 12-hour shifts or 4 10-hour shifts or 5 8-hour shifts; frequent rest breaks
ChemicalsAir sampling, monitoring symptomsOELs, reported symptoms, irritationOrganic vapor cartridge respirators, protective clothing, protective eyewear
ParticulateAir sampling, monitoring symptomsOELs, visual observation, reported symptomsP100 air-purifying respirators, protective eyewear
OdorSense of smellWorkers bothered by odorsVoluntary use of carbon-impregnated P95 filtering facepiece respirator

* Abbreviations: BMI = body mass index; BP = blood pressure; OELs = occupational exposure limits; P95 = NIOSH-approved particulate filtering respirator that is strongly resistant to oil and filters at least 95% of airborne particles; P100 = NIOSH-approved particulate filtering respirator that is strongly resistant to oil and filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles.

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  • Page last reviewed: June 25, 2010 (archived document) The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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