Early next year, researchers will fan out to well sites, loading yards, man camps and anywhere else they believe they can find oil and gas workers to ask them about safety. It is a first of its kind study that is being launched by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), according to an article in the Denver Post. The federal government plans to spend three years surveying and studying the industry to get a handle on worker injuries.
The government is concerned at the high rate of injuries and fatalities on the oil and gas work sites. Officials say the incident rate for oil and gas is seven times higher than the rest of U.S. industry. According to the report, researchers will try to get at the heart of the problem by asking workers “about the types of injuries they’ve suffered while on the job, what they were doing when they were injured, the training they’ve had and whether oil companies provide bonuses to workers who don’t report an injury or incident over a certain length of time.”
What will come out of the study? Nothing in the short-term. As noted above, the government says it will take three years to survey industry and study the data. After that, OSHA may use the results to work with industry to hone in on problem areas or it could be used to prompt legislation and changes to regulations. It is significant that the study will have a heightened focus on transportation, both worker and trucking.