OSHA reports on its involvement during oil spill cleanup

June 1, 2011

Washington – A new report (.pdf file) from OSHA provides a detailed account of the agency’s actions during the response to last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

OSHA was part of the National Response Team that responded to the incident. Among the agency’s duties were to provide guidance and expertise to the Coast Guard, the Unified Area Command and local incident command posts, as well as to monitor BP’s actions in providing a safe environment for cleanup workers.

Released in May, the report describes the steps OSHA took to protect the approximately 47,000 workers involved in cleanup operations. It chronicles OSHA’s actions from April 20, 2010, when the agency began monitoring the explosion, to June 25, when OSHA and NIOSH recommended workers near crude oil burns wear respirators.

The report said OSHA:

  • Conducted more than 4,200 site visits to assess hazards
  • Monitored air quality and evaluated exposure data from BP and other government agencies
  • Ensured training and written materials were provided in multiple languages