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November 30, 2016

OSHA renews alliance with National STEPS Network and NIOSH
to protect workers in oil and gas extraction industry

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently renewed its alliance with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The alliance will continue efforts to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in oil and gas exploration and production.

During the five-year renewal agreement, participants will develop and distribute additional hazard alerts, continue to support standardized orientation training for new workers, and disseminate OSHA resources and information generated by NIOSH research to employers and workers.

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, signed the agreement at the Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference in Houston, where more than 900 industry representatives, safety and health organizations, and educators gathered to discuss ways to improve safety in the oil and gas industry.

"While I am pleased with the work that we have done through our alliance, there are still too many oil and gas industry workers who are hurt or killed on the job," Michaels said. "These tragedies are preventable and we need to continue to work together to address hazards, prevent injuries and save lives."

During the initial two-year agreement, the alliance participants enhanced a NIOSH database of fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry, and used the database to help drive the alliance's activities. For example, participants developed and distributed hazard alerts on tank gauging and hot work based on an analysis of fatalities identified in the database. The participants also organized "Step-Up for Safety in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry," a nationwide safety event held earlier this year in which employers took time out to conduct site inspections, safety training and other activities.

Founded in 2003, the National STEPS Network is a volunteer organization that includes industry operators and contractors, industry associations, OSHA and NIOSH representatives, and educational institutions who promote safety, health and environmental improvement in oil and gas exploration and production in U.S. onshore operations. The Alliance participants will also continue to work closely with NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda Oil and Gas Extraction Council.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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