Oil industryOSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the State of North Dakota, and Bakken Basin Safety Consortium have signed an alliance to protect employees, and promote safety and health in the oil and gas industry.

(From left: Jesse Olson and Jason Tuhy of the Whiting Petroleum/Bakken Basin Safety Consortium; North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum; OSHA Bismarck Area Office Director Scott Overson; and OSHA Bismarck Assistant Area Director John Young.)

The two-year alliance will target both employees and employers. Workers will get the benefit of hazard alerts, safety training, and education programs aimed at helping them recognize and prevent workplace hazards. In addition, the alliance's members will develop training programs to promote understanding of employers' and employees' rights and responsibilities.

Oil and gas well drilling and servicing activities involve the use and production of potentially hazardous materials. Workers may be occupationally exposed to hydrogen sulfide; silica; noise; diesel particulate matter; hazardous chemicals; naturally occurring radioactive material (norm); and temperature extremes. Fatigue due to long hours has been linked to the high rate of transportation crashes in the industry, particularly among workers who must travel to and from remote locations.

The OSHA Alliance Program fosters collaborative relationships with groups committed to worker safety and health. Alliance partners help the agency reach targeted audiences, such as employers and workers in high-hazard industries, giving them better access to workplace safety and health tools and information.