Oil and Gas Extraction Program

Updated February 15, 2022

Trucking, sand fracking, oil derrick work and manual tank gauging. Images taken by NIOSH.

The Oil and Gas Extraction Program provides aims to control or eliminate occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in the oil and gas extraction industry — a workforce critical to the energy infrastructure of the nation.

Featured Items

Spring Health and Safety Summit 2022: Noise and Heat Stress in the Oilfieldexternal icon April 6-7, 2022
A free virtual summit highlighting state of the art knowledge on assessment and control of workers’ exposures to noise and heat stress in the oilfield.

COVID-19: Information about workplace resources, and detailed information about vaccines, is available to help oil and gas extraction workers and worksites minimize the impact of COVID-19.

Webinar: Understanding Exposure Hazards and Controls in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industryexternal icon

Research Article: US research needs related to fatigue, sleep, and working hours among oil and gas extraction workersexternal icon


The mission of the Oil and Gas Extraction Program is to conduct research, work with partners, and develop and communicate workplace solutions to improve worker safety and health in the oil and gas extraction industry. The program strives to fulfill its mission through high quality research, practical solutions, partnerships, and research to practice (r2p). Over the years, NIOSH and its partners have completed numerous research projects to address safety and health issues in the oil and gas extraction industry. Projects cut across a number of important issues including motor vehicle safety, falls, fatigue, and health hazards such as silica, hydrocarbon gases and vapors, and noise. Additional research includes topics important to safety and health in the oil and gas extraction industry including lone workers, remote worksites, working in the outdoors, and substance use/misuse.

Research Priorities

The Oil and Gas Extraction Program has selected research priorities on the basis of burden, need, and impact and collaborated with other NIOSH research programs to write the research goals in the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019-2024. The priority areas are:

  • Preventing hearing loss from exposure at work to loud noise or chemicals that damage hearing
  • Reducing hazardous dermal exposures
  • Reducing respiratory diseases induced by respirable crystalline silica
  • Preventing injuries and fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes
  • Promoting safe and healthy work design and addressing work organization factors that contribute to fatigue and substance use/misuse

The Oil and Gas Extraction Program Performance One-pager offers a snapshot of NIOSH programs’ priorities, strategies used to make progress towards priorities, recent accomplishments, and upcoming work.

A Story of Impact: NIOSH and Partners Work to Prevent Worker Deaths from Exposures to Hydrocarbon Gases and Vapors at Oil and Gas Wellsites

To learn more

NIOSH maintains the Fatalities in Oil and Gas Extraction (FOG) database that collects detailed information about worker fatalities in the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry.

Learn more about health and safety issues related to oil and gas extraction, such as fatigue, motor vehicle safety, musculoskeletal disorders, machine safety, noise and hearing loss and skin exposures. Oil and gas workers also face specific hazardous exposures to silica and hydrogen sulfide. Additionally, small businesses in oil and gas extraction, like other industries, are challenged with fewer resources to devote to occupational safety and health.

The NIOSH Science Blog provides an opportunity to learn about various workplace safety and health topics and exchange ideas with leading researchers from NIOSH. Check out NIOSH Science Blogs about Oil and Gas Extraction.

NORA Council

The Oil and Gas Extraction Program helps lead the NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council, which brings together individuals and organizations to share information, form partnerships, and promote adoption and dissemination of solutions that work. The council seeks to facilitate the most important research, understand the most effective intervention strategies, and learn how to implement those strategies to achieve sustained improvements in workplace practice. The complete National Occupational Research Agenda for Oil and Gas Extraction can be found on the council’s website.


Email NIOSHOilandGas@cdc.gov with questions.

Page last reviewed: February 15, 2022, 10:30 AM