NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council
Formed in 2008, the NORA for Oil and Gas Extraction Council brings together individuals and organizations with a shared interest in improving occupational safety and health in this industry sector. Council membership includes:
- Industry representation from operating, drilling, and servicing companies
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Trade associations
- Major insurance companies
Together we determine research priorities and identify emerging issues in the industry. Currently the council has formed three workgroups to identify and conduct research and prevention activities: safety, health, and motor vehicle safety.
Each spring the council hosts a NORA Oil and Gas Safety and Health Summit in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Public Health, Center for Health, Work and Environment. Free and open to the public, the summit provides updates regarding state-of-the-art knowledge on occupational exposures. Attendees include industry and government leaders, management and worker representatives, and occupational health and safety professionals working on the industry’s upstream side.
Each year the summit has a theme:
- 2023: Psychosocial stressors in the oilfield
- 2022: Noise and heat stress
- 2021: Silica in the oilfield 2.0
The NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council identified research priorities for the third decade of NORA (2016-2026) in the National Occupational Research Agenda for Oil and Gas Extraction. The agenda identifies four research objectives for the nation.
Research objectives for the nation:
- Reduce Motor Vehicle Injuries and Fatalities
- Reduce Non-vehicle Related Worker Injuries and Fatalities
- Reduce Exposures to Hazards and Their Health Effects in Workers
- Identify and Promote Proactive Strategies to Improve Oil and Gas Worker Safety and Health
The oil and gas extraction industry is made up of establishments that operate and/or develop oil and gas field properties.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) identifies three types of companies in the exploration and production industry:
- Oil and gas operators who control and manage leased areas (NAICS 211),
- Drilling companies who drill the wells (NAICS 213111)
- Well servicing companies who provide all other types of support operations that prepare a well for completion and production (NAICS 213112).
These workers face many occupational risks such as motor vehicle crashes, contact with tools and equipment, fire and explosions, exposure to chemicals, and shift work.
The NIOSH Oil and Gas Extraction Program facilitates the work of the Council and coordinates NIOSH research in this sector.