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NIOSH seeks oil and gas workers for study on safe driving

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Washington — NIOSH wants to hear from employers and workers involved in oil well servicing and drilling operations for a study exploring motor vehicle safety.

The agency is conducting virtual, one-hour interviews with workers as well as focus groups with managers and supervisors.

Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, NIOSH says motor vehicle crashes are responsible for more than half of fatal work-related injuries in oil and gas extraction. Workers in the industry “travel frequently between well sites and travel on rural roads, which often lack firm shoulders and rumble strips,” NIOSH says. “They also drive long distances from their homes, lodging sites or equipment yards, and may not use seat belts. Additionally, OGE workers often work long and irregular hours, which can result in fatigue.”

A recent agency survey of 363 industry workers who drive for work shows that 67% reported covering more than 25,000 work-related miles a year. Risky driving behaviors were common among the group, particularly distracted driving, such as using a hands-free phone (60%), using a handheld phone (24%) and texting (18%) while behind the wheel.

Additionally, 27% reported falling asleep while driving, and 26% said they drove while drowsy.

Anyone interested in participating in the study can contact Rosa Rodriguez-Acosta at [email protected] or (304) 285-6299 for more information. Research partners will receive access to the study’s findings, which can be shared throughout their organizations.

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