Protecting Worker Health during Oil Spill Cleanup

Monday, June 14, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard Federal on Scene Coordinator for the BP Deepwater Horizon response and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding concerning worker safety and health issues related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The MOU solidifies the close working relationship between the Coast Guard and OSHA and establishes a specific mechanism for coordination between the Deepwater Horizon FOSC and OSHA.  OSHA and the FOSC recognize the importance of close cooperation among all agencies that have responsibilities during the oil cleanup efforts. The MOU furthers joint efforts to monitor compliance with safety standards and to protect workers.

“We are actively collaborating with the FOSC and the Coast Guard to ensure the protection of workers involved in the oil spill cleanup,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Health and Safety Administration David Michaels.  “OSHA staff is on the ground proactively monitoring worker safety and health. Our staff is on the beaches, at the staging areas and on the boats to make sure BP is protecting clean up workers from safety and health hazards.”

The Federal On Scene Coordinator and OSHA will share relevant information to promote worksite safety in the Deepwater Horizon Response, including information provided by workers, local government officials or any other person.

The MOU provides the means for OSHA to notify the FOSC when it intends to take enforcement action against BP, BP’s contractors, or any other employer engaged in response activities.

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