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A story of impact : NIOSH and partners work to prevent worker deaths from exposures to hydrocarbon gases and vapors at oil and gas wellsites
  • Published Date:
    November 2016
  • Series:
    DHHS publication ; no. (NIOSH) 2017-110
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-678.68 KB]

  • Description:
    Workers at oil and gas extraction sites are at risk for exposure to hydrocarbon gases and vapors, oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and fire and explosions when opening tank hatches to manually gauge or collect fluid samples from crude oil and waste water storage tanks. Gauging and sampling is performed to determine the quantity and quality of crude oil prior to its sale or transfer. Opening tank hatches can result in the rapid release of high concentrations of hydrocarbon gases and vapors. These exposures can have immediate health effects, including loss of consciousness and death. Nine worker deaths associated with manual tank gauging or the collection of fluid samples were identified during 2010-2014 by a team of researchers consisting of an occupational medicine physician and experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Exposures to high concentrations of hydrocarbon gases and vapors and/or the displacement of oxygen are believed to be the primary or contributory factors in each death. NIOSHTIC no. 0049008
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