New Hazard Alert Highlights Dangers of Tank Gauging

OSHA and NIOSH have teamed up to identify risks to oil and gas industry workers engaged in this practice.

OSHA and NIOSH have teamed to create a new hazard alert that identifies health and safety risks to oil and gas industry workers who manually gauge or sample fluids on production and flowback tanks. The alert is titled "Health and Safety Risks for Workers Involved in Manual Tank Gauging and Sampling at Oil and Gas Extraction Sites."

The new alert provides specific recommendations for employers that will protect workers from hazards associated with opening tank hatches to manually gauge or sample hydrocarbon levels. The recommendations come in the categories of engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment.

"It has been known for years that oil and gas extraction is extremely dangerous work, with high rates of workplace fatalities. We also know that every incident is preventable," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "It's critically important that we all work together to make sure that oil and gas extraction workers are aware of life-threatening exposure to hydrocarbon gases and vapors and low-oxygen atmospheres, and that they are protected."

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