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Oil Spills

NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) awardees have provided resources, trainers, and subject matter expertise during many oil spill response and related cleanup operations. The following resources provide health and safety information for workers involved in oil spill response and cleanup activities. For a list of resources applicable to a variety of natural and man-made disasters, please visit our All-Hazards Resources page.

Training Resources

The National Clearinghouse creates training tools to aid in the development of awareness-level courses or other awareness-level materials. These tools provide health and safety guidance to those involved in disaster response and cleanup activities. Companion booklets are pocket guides that can be distributed with the training and used as a resource when workers are on a disaster site. To order hard copies of these booklets, please complete the Booklet Order Form.

Oil Spill Cleanup Training Tool

Note: This training tool is intended for workers NOT exposed to petroleum or other chemical products, but who may have a role in supporting oil spill cleanup efforts.

In English:

En Español:

In Vietnamese:

Training Courses

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

  • A 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 for supervisors and individuals who will likely have direct contact with oil spill products.
  • Short two- and four-hour training courses on Safety and Health Awareness. 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 with oil spill products.

In 2012, the NIEHS WTP, with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), initiated the Gulf Responder Resilience Training Project to address behavioral health training and education for disaster-impacted communities. The project has developed awareness-level training materials for disaster workers, disaster supervisors, and disaster care providers.

Other NIEHS Resources

WTP Technical Workshops

Federal Links and Documents

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)


State/Local Links and Documents

Please refer to your state or local emergency management agency website for additional guidance on oil spill preparedness and response.

Other Links and Documents

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