TRACK: OEM Education and Scientific Research
Robert Harrison, MD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco, CA
Bradley S. King, PhD, MPH, CIH, CDC/NIOSH, Denver, CO
Kyla Retzer, MPH, CDC/NIOSH, Denver, CO
Sadie Sanchez, MD, MPH, Denver Health Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Denver, CO
The on-shore oil and gas extraction (OGE) industry recently experienced a boom period with the workforce doubling 2004-2014. Despite a downward trend in the OGE worker fatality rate during this time, the fatality rate remained seven times higher than in the general industry and was also elevated when compared to similar industries (construction, transportation). This session will provide an overview of the epidemiology of OGE worker fatalities and injuries and will review current knowledge of occupational exposures in the industry. Faculty will discuss a series of worker deaths (n = 10) specifically related to hydrocarbon gas and vapor exposures and low oxygen concentration environments, a hazard not previously documented in the oilfield. Signs and symptoms of exposure to hydrocarbons will be reviewed as well as how occupational health providers and other professionals can play a role in improving health and safety for the oil and gas workforce.