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Silica in the Oilfield Summit Focuses on Implementation of OSHA Standards

The implementation of OSHA’s silica standard for oil and gas dominated the agenda in last week’s “Silica in the Oilfield Summit” sponsored by the Council. The meeting brought together industry leaders in the supply chain, well service and operator companies, as well as governmental research and regulatory groups from the U.S. and Canada to address silica exposure in the oil and gas industry.

The OFS sector has worked with OSHA throughout the development of the worker safety standards that will take effect on June 23, 2021.

During the conference, OSHA provided in-depth information on respirable silica, inspections, field evaluations and inspector instructions. NIOSH summarized research into field exposure assessments. Industry organizations addressed silica exposure monitoring, evaluation and compliance.

Speakers also focused on technology advancements for silica dust mitigation, dust control coatings, automation, technologies potentially available to users, and wet sand dust control. The Summit concluded with a panel discussion on implementation of controls from a management perspective.

Companies have developed innovative technologies over the past seven years to mitigate exposure and protect worker health and safety through engineering controls, worker education, and reducing airborne dust through wetting or coatings. These advances were achieved through a collaborative effort between companies, government agencies and research groups, which can serve as a model for a cooperative relationship between industry and regulatory bodies in the future.

For more information, please contact Council Vice President Kenny Jordan.

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