Online Program

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Oil and Gas Extraction Safety and Health Program: Lessons in How Partnerships Drive Quality Research

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Marissa Alexander-Scott, DVM, MS, MPH, Division of Applied Research and Technology, CDC/NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
John Snawder, PhD, Division of Applied Research and Technology, CDC NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
Eric Esswein, MSPH CIH, Western States Office, CDC/NIOSH, Denver, CO
Ryan Hill, MPH, Office of the Director, CDC/NIOSH, Morgantown, WV
Michael Breitenstein, BS, Division of Applied Research and Technology, CDC/NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
Kyla Retzer, MPH, Western States Office, CDC/NIOSH, Denver, CO
In 2013, the oil and gas extraction industry employed approximately 586,700 people. The unconventional oil and gas rush generated decent paying jobs in a lukewarm economy; however, the push to extract energy brought to light important considerations regarding the safety and health of its workers. Since 2003, there have been 1,077 fatal injuries, the majority from motor vehicle accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Oil and Gas Extraction Safety and Health Program was created in 2005 to investigate as well as reduce fatality rates and hazards to oil and gas extraction workers. The purpose of this presentation is to provide background on the program’s research initiatives, collaboration with partners through the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Council and STEPS Networks, and give a brief overview of hazards identified such as silica, hydrocarbons, and H2S as well as exposure controls.  Researchers collected and analyzed data from OSHA fatality reports; then visited well pads in nine states to conduct traditional exposure assessments through air sampling and worker observation. They also established a partnership program entitled the NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Sector Council to prioritize concerns and focus research goals. Several publications and products including the Rig Move safety videos and the OSHA NIOSH Hazard Alert: Worker Exposure to Silica during Hydraulic Fracturing were developed to educate workers and drive policy debate.  In conclusion, the best way to reduce fatalities in oil and gas workers is to work in collaboration with industrial, academic, and government associates.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain some of the current NIOSH initiatives in oil and gas research and demonstrate how partnership development can lead to quality research and the creation of products to protect oil and gas extraction workers

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted occupational health and safety research for 4 years, with an emphasis on exposure assessment, biomonitoring, and data analysis. As a member of the NIOSH Oil and Gas Safety and Health Program for past three years, I present exposure assessment highlights at Oil and Gas meetings for industry partners. Additionally, I have a background in toxicology and public health and serve as adjunct faculty (Environmental Health) at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.