National Oil and Gas Extraction Agenda

April 2011
NIOSH Docket Number 213

The oil and gas extraction industry includes operations involved in the drilling and extraction of crude oil and natural gas, comprising the largest part of the U.S. mining industry. During 2003-2008, 648 oil and gas extraction workers were fatally injured on the job, resulting in an occupational fatality rate of 29.1 deaths per 100,000 workers – eight times higher than the rate for all U.S. workers.

The NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council convened in July 2008 and held additional meetings in February and September 2009, and January 2010. During the first meeting, the council examined injury surveillance data on oil and gas extraction workers, primarily for the years 2003-2006. The data examined were limited to occupational fatalities, mainly because these are the most reliable data available for this industry. Significant gaps exist in the availability of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses data for the oil and gas extraction industry. In addition to the surveillance data, council members described their experiences in the industry, and their primary occupational safety and health concerns. During this meeting, the council began to develop a list of key safety and health issues in the industry. This list was later organized into four topical areas that included: workforce issues, industry operations, surveillance, and education and training. Workgroups were formed for each area.

During subsequent meetings, the council discussed current research and prevention activities, identified occupational safety and health research gaps, and drafted strategic-level goals for research in this industry. Between September 2009 and January 2010, the workgroup’s draft goals were consolidated and revised. They were reviewed again by the council during its May 2010 meeting, and made available for public comment in August 2010. The council will consider the comments and then publish its final goals.

Material Under Consideration

Draft preliminary public comment version of “National Oil and Gas Extraction Agenda for occupational Safety and Health Research and Practice in the U.S. Oil and Gas Extraction Industry”; 8/16/10pdf icon [PDF – 16,893 KB]

Submissions in order of receipt

Submission from Michael Baram (Boston University Law School); 10/6/10pdf icon [PDF – 393 KB]

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2011