On Feb. 16, OSHA announced the 2016 Step-Up for safety in the upstream oil and gas industry to raise awareness among employers and workers about hazards in oil and gas exploration. During Step-Up events, employers around the country will take time out to conduct site inspections, safety training, and other activities. These events will run from mid-February until the end of March. The Step-Up is an activity of the alliance between OSHA, National S.T.E.P.S Network, and NIOSH. Twenty-two Regional Steps Networks will coordinate and promote the events. The alliance will work together to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the U.S. onshore exploration and production sector of the oil and gas industry. Outreach and communication are the primary goals of the alliance. Other goals include:
- Develop products including fact sheets on the leading causes of fatalities in the industry and videos on key safety and health hazards in the industry
- Distribute alliance and OSHA materials to employers and workers
- Provide technical review of OSHA materials
- Support the efforts of NIOSH and the (NORA) National Occupational Research Agenda Oil and Gas Council to collect and analyze surveillance data, and disseminate reports summarizing fatal injuries in the industry
- Work through the National STEPS Network’s emerging issues focus group to address key safety and health hazards in the industry training and education
- Provide support for the OSHA Oil and Gas safety health conferences
- Provide guidance and resources for development of training for employers and workers in the industry, including new and temporary workers
This alliance was signed on Dec. 2, 2014, at the last OSHA Oil and Gas Safety Conference. “Hazardous working conditions are taking the lives of a growing number of workers employed in oil and gas extraction,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “This Safety Step-Up will help emphasize the tremendous value in dedicating time during a workday to improve safety and health.” The National STEPS Network, founded in 2003, is a volunteer organization that includes industry operators, contractors and associations, OSHA, and NIOSH representations and environmental improvement in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in U.S. Onshore Operations.
The Local S.T.E.P.S Group is the Permian Basin STEPS and was the 2nd group to come online after it started in south Texas. They have a monthly meeting every 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midland Center, Midland, Texas.
Remember to stay safe at home and at work!
Darrel Canada is president and Master Trainer at Canada and Associates Safety Training LLC, based in Abilene, Texas, with offices also in Snyder, Midland, and Carrizo Springs, Texas. Find them at canada-associates.com.