OSHA and NIOSH Plan Step-Up, Stand-Down EventsThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are planning “Step Up” and “Stand Down” events to promote awareness about hazards related to oil/gas exploration and fall protection, respectively.

Together with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety (STEPS) Network, OSHA and NIOSH will be running the “Step Up for Safety in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry” program from mid-February until the end of March. There will be official events, but the organizations recommend that companies hold their own voluntary training sessions for employees.

According to the Step Up program website (which will also function as the point of information for Stand Down events), “The 2016 Step Up for Safety is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. The purpose of the Step Up is to provide information to companies that can be used at their sites for training and awareness.”

The leaders of the program have gathered information from many sources and posted resources in a “Step Up Toolbox” on the site. Employers can choose which training to provide to their workers using these health and safety resources. The site asks employers to record their training data after the fact so that OSHA can gauge the success of the program, and notes that this data will not be used to enforce any legal standards.

The National Safety Stand Down event will deal with fall protection standards and run from May 2-6. OSHA and NIOSH are running this program with the Center for Construction Research and Training.

“In many workplaces, falls are a real and persistent hazard. Given the nature of the work, the construction industry sees the highest frequency of fall-related deaths and serious, sometimes debilitating injuries,” said Dr. John Howard, director of NIOSH. “Since the effort began in 2014, the National Safety Stand-Down serves as an important opportunity for both employers and workers to stop and take time in the workday to identify existing fall hazards, and then offer demonstrations and training to emphasize how to stay safe on the job.”