The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in

conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, recently released a

new hazard alert which emphasizes the dangers to workers who manually gauge or sample fluids

on production and flowback tanks in the oil and gas industry. This practice is common,

specifically in the oil and gas extraction industry, however this has led to a series of deaths


“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.”

“The expansion of the oil and gas extraction industry has led to new opportunities, but also new

risks for workers,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This joint alert highlights the

importance of remaining vigilant about the safety and health of our nation’s workers as our

nation changes and adapts to these new opportunities.”

This alert could impact any business in the oil and gas extraction industry, and as such needs to

be taken very seriously by these companies. This is a new focus area for OSHA and NIOSH, and

now that this alert has been issued with expected corrections and resolutions, it is imperative that

any business in this industry review their occupational safety and health standards to ensure they

are following all recommendations and requirements.

If you have any questions about this alert and how it might impact your company, please contact

us. If you have anything to add about the importance of following the guidelines of this alert,

please leave a comment.