NIOSH releases oil spill roster report

Washington – NIOSH on Dec. 12 issued a report (.pdf file) on its effort to establish a roster of workers assisting with the cleanup of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The roster was intended to create a record of cleanup workers, collect information on their projected work assignments and training, and establish a mechanism for contacting them about possible work-related illnesses or injuries, according to the report. NIOSH, which collected roster forms from more than 55,000 workers, said this is the first time a prospective, centralized roster has been developed for such a large event.

Roster data indicated most of the volunteers were from Gulf Coast states, male, English-speaking and contractors. While 32 percent reported taking the 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER course, about one-third lacked event-sponsored response training.

Rostering recommendations from the report include:

  • Integrate rostering into response activities as soon as possible to ensure all workers are included.
  • Have a ready-to-use roster form.
  • Develop ways to encourage and facilitate employer participation.

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