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Preliminary Field Studies on Worker Exposures to Volatile Chemicals during Oil and Gas Extraction Flowback and Production Testing Operations

Categories: Oil and Gas

flowbacka

Figure 1: Separators, flowback tanks, and water tanks on a well pad with multiple well heads

This blog describes NIOSH evaluations of worker exposures to specific chemicals during oil and gas extraction flowback and production testing activities. These activities occur after well stimulation and are necessary to bring the well into production. Included are descriptions of initial exposure assessments, findings, and recommendations to reduce worker exposures to potential hazards. Further details about these assessments can be read in a recently published peer-reviewed journal article, “Evaluation of Some Potential Chemical Exposure Risks during Flowback Operations in Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction: Preliminary Results”.[i]

 

Including Work Information in Electronic Health Records

Categories: Health care, Safety and Health Data

 

Today’s “Health IT Buzz,” the blog of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), features a blog co-written by Kerry Souza of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Michael Wittie of the ONC. Posted during “Health Center Week”, the blog highlights the leadership and initiative of health centers in using Electronic Health Records to capture and use patients’ work information to address health issues related to their work.  Occupation is an important determinant of health that has not been systematically recorded in medical records. These projects are significant steps in the efforts by NIOSH and its partners to ensure that patient work information is captured in Electronic Health Records and can be used to address both individual patient health and the health of working populations.  You can read the blog HERE.

 

Kerry Souza, ScD, MPH   

Dr. Souza is an epidemiologist in the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies

 

 

Preventing Skin Cancer

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Oil and Gas, Outdoor Work, Young Workers

sunAs the nation’s doctor, I recently launched a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer to address the rising rates of skin cancer in the U.S. While nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the U.S., with an annual cost of $8.1 billion, most cases are preventable. Although people with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer—and it can be disfiguring, even deadly. Sunburned and even tanned skin is damaged skin that can lead to skin cancer. That’s why this message is extremely important for individuals whose jobs require them to work outdoors.

The National Tractor Safety Coalition: Taking a new systems-approach to a well-known problem

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Motor Vehicle Safety

The agriculture industry is widely recognized for its high work-related fatal injury rates, which are estimated to be 20.2 deaths per 100,000 workers (compared to 3.2 per 100,000 workers for all workers).[i] Tractor overturns are the most frequent cause of farm fatalities, yet they can be readily addressed with the presence of a roll-bar and seatbelt (referred to as a rollover protective structure system or ROPS).[ii] Unfortunately, roughly 40% of U.S. tractors lack these protective devices. Older farmers, part-time farmers, and low-income farms are most frequently lacking ROPS protection.[iii]

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