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Region 6 News Release: 13-2162-DAL
Nov. 14, 2013
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Raising health and safety awareness in the oil and gas industry is the mission
of US Labor Department's OSHA stand down today in Humble, Texas
OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels delivers remarks

DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network, commonly known as STEPS, today sponsored a national stand down to raise awareness and promote safety and health practices at U.S. oil and gas exploration and production sites. The event at the Humble Civic Center in Humble was webcast nationwide to regional STEPS network locations.

"Too many workers are dying in the oil and gas drilling industry. Employers need to ensure that jobs are planned out, everyone has adequate training in all aspects of safety and workers need to be part of the planning," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health who spoke at today's event. "We are telling employers that by identifying and eliminating hazards and training oil and gas workers to abate these hazards, you can save lives."

The event featured remarks from Ryan Hill, program manager for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Western States Office, and included industry association round tables and case study presentations. Additionally, participants viewed a new video on respirable silica, and OSHA featured an informative video on incident statistics.

Following the stand down, participants were asked to share safety and health information with workers and contractors by devoting a minimum of one hour to the task, in 15-minute increments at their work sites, until Jan. 30, 2014. To participate and record results, companies must register online at http://www.oshastanddown.org. Materials are available at the website and include videos, PowerPoint presentations, incident overviews, examples of inspection forms and a link to the recorded event.

A volunteer organization in south Texas started by OSHA and the oil and gas industry, since 2003 STEPS has attempted to reduce injuries and fatalities. The organization has grown to include 22 independent networks serving 19 oil- and gas-producing states. Many of the networks have signed formal alliances with OSHA.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, 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. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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 http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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