Guidance for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and Employers detail

Guidance for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and Employers

11/24/2020 Written by: Trevor Gilstrap

This guidance is for oil and gas industry workers and employers—including those in the sub-industries and tasks that make up the broader oil and industrial sector (see Table 1 provided by OSHA). This guidance supplements the general interim guidance for workers and employers of workers at increased risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. 

Remain aware of changing outbreak conditions, including the spread of the virus and testing availability in your community, and implement infection prevention measures accordingly. As states or regions satisfy the gating criteria to progress through the phases of the Guidelines for Opening up America Again, you will be able to adapt this guidance, along with the general recommendations in OSHA's Guidance on Returning to Work, to better suit evolving risk levels and necessary control measures in your workplaces.

Assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use the hierarchy of controls to prevent exposure. The table below describes oil and gas work tasks associated with the exposure risk levels in OSHA's occupational exposure risk pyramid, which may serve as a guide to employers in this sector.

Conducting a hazard assessment (sometimes called a job hazard analysis) can help you to determine whether work activities require close contact (within six feet) between workers and other people (e.g. coworkers, supervisors, or others at the job site). When a hazard assessment identifies activities with higher exposure risks, and those activities are not essential, consider delaying them until they can be performed safely (e.g. when appropriate infection prevention measures, as discussed in this article, can be implemented or once community transmission subsides).

Further guidance for employers and workers in oil and gas, including refinery, operations can be found in the Interim Guidance from CDC and OSHA for Manufacturing Workers and Employers. The manufacturing guidance applies generally to all types of manufacturing operations, of which some operations in the oil and gas industry, are a part.

For more information on assessing your operation’s risk, contact our team of energy specialists.

Sources: OSHA and Interim Guidance for Workers and Employers of Workers at Lower Risk of Exposure

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