Safety and Training of Oil Spill Response Workers
NIEHS Oil Spill Response Training Tool
This 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.
More than 5,000 pocket-sized booklets titled "Safety And Health Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers" have been distributed to instructors, safety officials, front-line responders participating in the BP Vessels Of Opportunity Program, and beach workers in the Shoreline Cleanup assessment Team. The booklets also have been printed in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
|Booklet: NIEHS Oil Spill Cleanup Initiative: Safety Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers (ENGLISH)||PDF BOOKLET (2.9 MB)||Microsoft PowerPoint (6.7 MB)|
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 Education and Training Program (WETP) 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
Through the WETP, the NIEHS was able to provide nearly immediate assistance to the oil spill response and to protecting the health of oil spill workers after the explosion occurred on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010.
The WETP program director, Chip Hughes, was on site within days of this platform explosion. Hughes and his team have had a continuous presence in the Gulf Coast and have been working with Coast Guard and BP officials, as well as local and state officials, academic institutions, and other federal agencies to provide worker safety training.
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.
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. More than 1,000 people in the Gulf Coast region have completed the HAZWOPER training.
- 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 hired by BP. 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. The training is being paid for and administered by BP. As of June 29, 2010, according to BP approximately 49,948 people throughout the Gulf Coast had completed these short training courses.
NIEHS Environmental/Chemical Exposures Awareness Flyers
- Provider Awareness of Patient with Environmental/Chemical Exposures Flyer (2.6 MB)
- Worker Awareness of Environmental/Chemical Exposure and Communicating with Your Health Care Provider Flyer (2.2 MB)
NIEHS Presentations on the Oil Spill
- BP Gulf Oil Spill Response: Protecting the Responders Presentation for PEPH Webinar on May 25, 2010 (1.6 MB)
- WETP Update on Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Activities to the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (1.3 MB)
Broader NIEHS-wide Efforts
In addition to the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program, other activities at NIEHS are ongoing.
The NIEHS is hosting a series of webinars on the Gulf Longterm Follow-up (GuLF) Study -- a health study of oil spill workers and volunteers - in order to obtain input from the Gulf region community and research stakeholders on the design this study following the recent Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
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.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- ATSDR Fact Sheet for Fuel Oils (147 KB)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Fish and Wildlife Services
- National Library of Medicine
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- NIOSH Certified Equipment List on Respirators
- NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Report for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (402 KB)
- NIOSH Respirator Trusted-Source Information Page
- NIOSH Interim Guidance: Information for 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Workers on Traumatic Incident Stress (45KB)
- NIOSH Interim Respiratory Protection Recommendations for Deepwater Horizon Response Workers
- NIOSH/OSHA Interim Guidance for Protecting Deepwater Horizon Response Workers and Volunteers (247 KB)
- NIOSH Report of Deepwater Horizon Response/BP Illness and Injury Data (211 KB)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Current Training Requirements for the Gulf Oil Spill [July 7, 2010]
- OSHA Air Monitoring Direct Reading by Site
- OSHA Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Factsheet (48 KB)
- OSHA Letter (1993) Regarding Training Requirements for Emergency and Post-Emergency response to Marine-based Oil Spills
- OSHA Training Marine Oil Spill Response Workers under OSHA
- Official Federal Portal for the BP Oil Spill
- White House
Other Oil Spill Resources
- BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Restoration
- BP Recordable Injury & Illness Data April 22, 2010 to July 21, 2010 (801 KB)
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trajectory Hindcast/Forecast Based on West Florida Shelf ROMS (Ocean Circulation Group and the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at College of Marine Science, University of South Florida)
- Gulf Oil Spill Health Hazards Webpage with Crude Oil Factsheet from Sciencecorps
- Human Dimensions of Oil Spills from Climate Progress
- Lamor Oil Spill Recovery equipment and services
- Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Tulane University Oil Spill Crisis Map
- Marine Spill Response Corporation
- Material Safety Data Sheet for Dispersant COREXIT® DC9580A (98 KB)
- Material Safety Data Sheet for Dispersant Type 2 (COREXIT® EC9527A) (132 KB)
- Monitoring and Surveillance Data
- Multimedia Resources
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets Relevant to Gulf Oil Spill
- Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets Web site
- 1, 4-dioxane
- 2-Butoxy ethanol
- Carbon Monoxide
- Dipropylene glycol methyl ether
- Ethyl benzene
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Propylene glycol
- Stoddard Solvent
- Sulfuric Acid (Mist)
- Sulfur Dioxide
- VM&P Naphtha
- News Reports
- Contradicting BP, Feds Lay Gulf Illnesses to Cleaning Fluid
- EPA Ramps Up Air Quality Monitoring for Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
- Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Could Involve Heavier Grade of Oil, Making Cleanup More Difficult
- Human Dimensions of Oil Spill
- NIEHS and OSHA Lead Oil Spill Worker Safety Efforts
- The Oil Slick
- Spill Raises Concerns of Health Effects
- Oil Spill Research
- Prolonged Respiratory Symptoms in Clean-up Workers of the Prestige Oil Spill (247 KB)
- Self Reported Exposure and Health Effects among Workers from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (7.9 MB)
- Social and Environmental Research Institute (SERI) Deepwater Horizon Leak and the Human Dimensions of Oil Spill and Spill Response
- Social Media Resources
- Facebook: EPA
- Facebook: EPA Administrator
- Facebook: FL volunteers
- Twitter: Americorps Volunteer Information
- Twitter: DeepwaterHorizon JIC Site
- Twitter: EPA
- Twitter: EPA Administrator
- Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization--Oil Spill Decontamination Procedures
- Southeast Alaska Petroluem Resource Organization--Responder Safety Guide (3.28 MB)
- State and County Oil Spill Resources
- California Conservation Corps Oil Spill Responder Program Guide (303 KB)
- California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response
- California Oiled Wildlife Care Network
- Louisiana DOH Oil Spill Surveillance Summary Report
- Spill Tactic for Alaska Responders
- SunSentinal.com Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010)