Reports of Worker Fatalities During Flowback Operations

There is very little published data regarding occupational health hazards during oil and gas extraction operations. NIOSH request assistance from oil and gas stakeholders in further characterizing risks for chemical exposures during flowback operations and develop and implement exposure controls.

NIOSH has learned that several worker fatalities have been related to flowback operations through media reports. At least 4 workers have died since 2010 from acute chemical exposures during flowback operations. Information suggests that these cases involved workers who were gauging flowback or production tanks or involved in transferring flowback fluids at the well site. These fatalities often occurred when the workers were performing their duties alone.

Hydrogen sulfide is well recognized as a toxic exposure hazard associated with oil and gas extraction and production. However, less recognized by many employers and workers is that many of the chemicals found in volatile hydrocarbons are acutely toxic at high concentrations. This can affect the eyes, breathing, and the nervous system. At high concentrations, it may also affect the heart causing abnormal rhythms.

Tips to avoiding these exposures:

1.    Develop Alternative Tank Gauging Procedures
2.    Provide Hazard Awareness Training
3.    Monitor Workers
4.    Ensure Workers Do Not Work Alone
5.    Use Appropriate Respiratory Protection
6.    Establish Emergency Procedures

 

Read more on this article.

Dear Friends and Clients,

Our firm is dedicated to act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues. As such, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also ensuring the health and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, most from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for the country we live in, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance and representation from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Marvin Anderman and the firm family of Fine, Olin & Anderman, LLP