Safety first ..

Niosh on ‘total worker health.’ CSB - ‘industry is behind the curve,’ API ’should review regulations.'

The US National institute for occupational safety and health (Niosh) of the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) is to publish a National agenda on total worker health (TWH). The draft agenda is meant to ‘stimulate research, applications and guide policy related to worker health.’ The initiative represents an attempt to create a national occupational health agenda (Nora) covering a variety of industrial segments including oil and gas. The overarching goal is to ‘prevent worker injury and illness and to advance the safety, health, and well-being of the workforce.’ To increase awareness and adoption of occupational health and safety in the workplace an ‘internet-based open source system for disseminating TWH best practices’ has been proposed. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft and provide input on top priority issues.

It may be something of a reprise, but the Chemical Safety Board’s updated video, ‘Behind the Curve,’ detailing findings and recommendations on the 2010 Tesoro Anacortes refinery accident has been updated to include interviews with the CSB’s investigators and chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso who observed ‘The CSB is seriously concerned by the number of deadly refinery accidents in recent years. We have concluded that extensive improvements must be made in how refineries are regulated at the state and federal level.’ The Tesoro investigation, one of the most extensive and complex of recent years, found a ‘substandard safety culture at Tesoro, which led to a complacent attitude toward flammable leaks and occasional fires over the years.’ The CSB has recommended that the American Petroleum Institute reviews its recommendations and guidelines and that the EPA use its authority under the clean air act authority to promote safety.

Comment—Unfortunately the API is more likely to be battling the EPA from the opposite direction these days, on behalf of less regulation and laxer standards for industry.

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