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As of June 11th, OSHA staff had made over 1000 site visits, both unannounced and coordinated with BP, covering all 17 staging areas, and the active worksites on shore or at sea.
Depending on their assignments, oil spill cleanup workers face hazards from heat, falls, drowning, fatigue, loud noises, sharp objects, as well as bites from insects, snakes and other wild species native to the Gulf Coast region.
We are in the field and on boats to make sure BP and its contractors are protecting cleanup workers from health and safety hazards.
OSHA inspectors ensure that the employer is complying with heat precautions, personal protective equipment and training requirements, and is properly addressing chemical and electrical hazards, decontamination of personnel and equipment, and many other hazards, such as being hit by the numerous vehicles dropping off supplies.
Many of these workers also face exposure to crude oil, oil byproducts, dispersants, cleaning products, and other chemicals being used in the cleanup process.
OSHA is working to ensure that employers protect workers from this vast array of hazards.
Chairman, Ranking Member Kline and Members of the Committee: Thank you for inviting me to join you this morning to discuss worker health and safety from oil rig to the shoreline.OSHA's Health Response Team, based in Salt Lake City, arrived in Louisiana on May 6th to provide technical support to OSHA response site personnel for worker exposure monitoring.Every day, OSHA has over 146 professionals protecting workers throughout the Gulf Region, 25 of whom are assigned solely to the Oil Response Cleanup.In response to recently received information, OSHA is in the process of increasing the training requirement for crews on the vessels of opportunity engaged in offshore oil cleanup activities.Expanded training will cover chemical hazards and exposures, decontamination procedures, sampling results and workers' rights.