NIOSH Web Page on Oil Spill Response Provides Resources, Summaries of Gulf Activities
Contact: Fred Blosser, (202) 245-0645
June 8, 2010
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) web page on oil spill response provides resources for employers, workers, safety and health professionals, and others on identifying and preventing work hazards in oil spill response and recovery. The page also contains summaries of NIOSH activities in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.
The web page is posted at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/oilspillresponse/ . The page is updated as further information becomes available.
The page notes that workers responding to oil spills may be exposed to many different chemical, physical, biological, and psychological hazards. These hazards vary depending on the type and location of the oil spill, type and stage of response, degree of coordination between entities involved in response and recovery, and the workers’ specific tasks. Therefore, occupational and environmental hazards need to be identified, assessed, and monitored in each oil spill response.
NIOSH’s activities in the Deepwater Horizon response include these:
- Providing information to the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command partners about protecting workers and volunteers from potential safety and health hazards.
- Assisting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) with information about tools for training workers, including health hazard risk assessment and personal protective equipment selection.
- Conducting a voluntary survey of workers to obtain a record of those who have participated and a mechanism to contact them about possible spill-related symptoms of illness or injury, as needed. This was a need identified by NIOSH and stakeholders from previous large-scale emergency responses. The survey form and a fact sheet are posted on the web page.
- Conducting a health hazard evaluation in response to a request from BP.
NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. More information about NIOSH is available at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh.