Wednesday, January 7, 2015

OSHA Publication Focuses on Hazards Created by Hydraulic Fracturing

OSHA recently issued a new publication to help educate and protect oil and gas workers from hazards created by hydraulic fracturing and flowback operations.

According to the agency, a large increase in the number of hydraulic fracturing and backflow operations over the past decade has put more workers at risk. In light of this, OSHA issued a hazard alert, to provide additional information concerning exposure risks associated with hydraulic fracturing and flowback operations other than respirable silica, which has been a hot topic within the industry and main focus of several studies over the past several years.

Potential exposures other than respirable crystalline silica include:
  • vehicle and machinery traffic or movement at worksites
  • mechanical material handling, manual lifting, and ergonomic hazards
  • chemical handling during mixing and injection
  • flammable fluids, atmospheres, and materials
  • high pressure-related hazards during flowback from the well
  • hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

The publication provides detailed hazard information and suggestions for mitigation for each task as well as links to additional resources from OSHA and NIOSH.

Click here for more information.