I appreciate the Press-Register passing this warning for all and any persons being cautioned about the perils dealing with the oil.
OSHA - Cleanup Workers Warned
By Jeff Amy
As temporary labor firms began to recruit workers for oil spill cleanup, the head of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the workplace safety agency wants to make sure workers aren't harmed by the oil.
"Our objective is make sure that the cleanup is safe," said David Michaels, the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
Michaels visited Louisiana on Monday, along with other health and safety agencies, to consult with well owner BP PLC about training. BP's Deepwater Horizon well has been leaking for some two weeks since the rig involved exploded and sank.
OSHA warns thta cleanup workers could face hazards from oil byproducts, dispersants, detergents and degreasers, as well as drowning, heat, falls, insects and snakes.
OSHA requires a four-hour training class before people can clean up oil. That class is not required for people who are helping to set floating booms, although BP has been requiring a separate safety class for them.
Although BP is offering to pay all cleanup workers, Michaels said that if volunteers are used, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires volunteers to receive this same training that OSHA requires.
Michael's visit came as recruitment of workers geared up.
In Alabama, Houston-based Advanced Industrial Services was trying to hire general laborers with port security identification at hourly rates of $10 to $12. The company was also looking for supervisors and safety representatives.
Construct Corps LLC, a construction labor temporary firm, was advertising for general labor in Pascagoula and Gulfport, paying $9 to $10 an hour. The firm, based in Tampa, Fla., also was seeking 200 people with OSHA hazardous waste and emergency response certification.
ON THE NET
OSHA oil spill cleanup safety: www.osha.gov/oilspills/index.html