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Your Environment. Your Health.

Safety and Training of Oil Spill Response Workers

NIEHS Oil Spill Response Training Tool

The NIEHS developed Training Tool is an awareness-level health and safety resource for those who are working to clean up the oil. This tool will help workers understand at an awareness level: what an oil spill is, characteristics of an oil spill response, and how to identify and control hazards pertaining to the response and cleanup activities associated with an oil spill.

Pocket-sized booklets titled "Safety and Health Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers" are designed for instructors, safety officials, front-line responders participating in the Vessels Of Opportunity Program, and beach workers in the Shoreline Cleanup assessment Teams. The booklets are available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

 

Document TitleBooklet/Poster
as PDF
PowerPoint Version
Booklet: NIEHS Oil Spill Cleanup Initiative: Safety Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers (ENGLISH) PDF BOOKLET(2.9 MB) Microsoft PowerPoint(6.7 MB)
Iniciativa de Limpieza del Derrame de Petróleo: Seguridad y Concienciación de Salud para Trabajadores de Limpieza de Derrames de Petróleo (SPANISH)
PDF BOOKLET(1.6 MB) Microsoft PowerPoint(6 MB)
NIEHS Oil Spill Cleanup Initiative: Safety Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers (VIETNAMESE) PDF BOOKLET(2.9 MB)  Microsoft PowerPoint(6 MB)

Overview

With USAID's support, workers clean up oil spill along Lebanon's coast in 2006.
With USAID's support, workers clean up oil spill along Lebanon's coast in 2006.

Protecting the health and safety of the workers cleaning up the oil spill is a top priority for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The NIEHS is well positioned to help lead the oil spill response training efforts. For the past 24 years, the NIEHS has been administering the national Worker Training Program (WTP) to provide safety training to emergency responders and the hazardous materials workforce.

 

Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico,  Posted April 27, 2010
Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico, Posted April 27, 2010

 

If workers have health related questions about the oil spill, call your local Poison Control Center at 1(800) 222-1222. Poison Control Centers offer free, confidential services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are staffed by medically trained professionals. If workers encounter a hazardous working condition, contact 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or TTY 1-877-889-5627.

Training Courses

Two different levels of training for oil spill workers have been developed and supported by NIEHS.

  • 40-hour Training Course on Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. This is commonly known as HAZWOPER training. This is part of our regular, ongoing worker training offered through NIEHS and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This extensive training is now being delivered to supervisors and individuals who will likely have direct contact with oil spill products. 
  • Short 2 and 4-hour training courses on Safety and Health Awareness. The NIEHS, together with OSHA, helped develop several short educational courses, including some online training, which focus on the necessary hazard awareness and safety training for all oil spill workers. This training is provided to individuals who will have minimal contact oil with spill products.

These courses provide training on safe work practices, personal protective equipment, decontamination, heat stress and other common hazards for cleanup work. 

NIEHS Environmental/Chemical Exposures Awareness Flyers

 

NIEHS Presentations on the Oil Spill

Broader NIEHS-wide Efforts

In addition to the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program, other activities at NIEHS are ongoing.

 

Federal Oil Spill Resources

This page includes information from federal and other sources intended to protect the health and safety of workers cleaning up the spill. Please check back often as we will continue to update this page with the most current information.

Oily hand wearing glove
 

Other Oil Spill Resources

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