Safety and Training of Oil Spill Response Workers
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.
Worker Training Program Resources
Training Tool and Companion Booklet
The following training tool is an awareness-level health and safety resource for workers NOT exposed to petroleum or other chemical products but whom may have a role in supporting clean up efforts. The tool will help workers understand at an awareness level:
- What an oil spill is
- Characteristics of an oil spill response
- How to identify and control hazards pertaining to response and cleanup activities associated with an oil spill
Trainers may use this tool to aid in the development of an oil spill response awareness-level course or other awareness-level materials such as fact sheets and tabletop activities. The pocket-sized companion booklet may be distributed with the training and used as a resource when workers are on a disaster site. The training tool and the booklet are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
|Document||Booklet||Training Tool PowerPoint|
|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)|
If workers have health related questions about the oil spill, call your local Poison Control Center at 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 800-321-OSHA (6742) or TTY 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 for 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 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 Program to address behavioral health training and education for disaster-impacted communities. The project has developed awareness-levels training materials for disaster workers, disaster supervisors, and disaster care providers.
Additional Resources on the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Response
Shortly after an explosion occurred on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, NIEHS was asked to provide materials on the hazards related to oil spills. WTP staff and awardees led the effort to provide support to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, beginning with the development and dissemination of safety and health awareness training for oil spill cleanup workers.
- Ongoing NIEHS Activities Related to the Gulf Oil Spill Response
- 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)
- WTP Spring 2011 Technical Workshop-Deepwater Horizon Lessons Learned: Improving Safety and Health Training for Disaster Cleanup Workers
- WTP Spring 2011 Technical Workshop Report: Improving Safety and Health Training for Disaster Cleanup Workers: Lessons Learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill(2.6 MB)
- WTP Update on 2010 Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Activities: Presented to the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council(1.3 MB)
Federal Oil Spill Resources
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- OSHA Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances Page
- OSHA Disaster Site Worker Outreach Training Program
- OSHA Emergency Preparedness and Response Page
- OSHA Hazardous Waste Page
- OSHA Activities During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Information and Resources
- OSHA Informational Booklet: Training Marine Oil Spill Response Workers under OSHA HAZWOPER Standard
- OSHA Letter (1993) Regarding Training Requirements for Emergency and Post-Emergency response to Marine-based Oil Spills
- The Application of HAZWOPER to Worksite Response and Cleanup Activities
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)
- U.S. National Response Team (NRT)
Other Oil Spill Resources
- Laborers National Health and Safety Fund Report of the Public Health Team Assessing the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Cleanup(5.8 MB)
- BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Restoration
- Material Safety Data Sheet for Dispersant COREXIT® DC9580A(98 KB)
- Material Safety Data Sheet for Dispersant Type 2 (COREXIT® EC9527A)
- New Jersey Department of Health: Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets
- Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization: Oil Spill Decontamination Procedures
- Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization: Oil Spill Responder Safety Guide, Vol. 11
- Multimedia Resources
- Oil Spill Research