Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: OSHA's Role in the Response   [open pdf - 319KB]

"On the night of April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, located 45 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana, exploded and caught fire, resulting in the deaths of eleven workers. The rig sank on the morning of April 22, and oil leaking from the Macondo wellhead began reaching shore in late May. At the peak of the Deepwater Horizon response operations, more than 47,000 men and women were involved in responding to and cleaning up the oil spill each day. The workers on the front lines of the response faced potential hazards on the job such as extreme heat, fatigue, electrical, motor vehicle, sharp objects, material handling, confined spaces, potential chemical exposures, loud noises, drowning, struck-by, slips, falls, and insect bites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was part of the coordinated federal response to ensure that workers were protected from these hazards. OSHA's efforts included a comprehensive assessment of hazards and aggressive oversight of BP to ensure that workers had the training and protection they needed. OSHA's activities were guided by its strategic objectives for the response: 1) Continually monitor and evaluate BP's efforts to ensure that BP implements the appropriate precautions needed to fully protect all workers from the safety and health hazards associated with their cleanup work. 2) Reach out to communities to ensure that workers know their rights and that employers know their responsibilities for protecting workers. Focus efforts to increase workers' 'voice in the workplace' and educate workers regarding how to obtain OSHA's assistance. 3) Ensure that all workers are adequately trained for their jobs in a manner and language they understand."

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United States. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: http://www.osha.gov/
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