Industry Recognizes Importance of Worker Safety in Silica Rule

Industry Recognizes Importance of Worker Safety in Silica Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Executive Vice President Lee Fuller reinforced the oil and natural gas industry’s highest priority of worker safety as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its long-awaited final rule on occupational exposure to crystalline silica.

“It remains to be seen as to what, exactly, the long-term cost impact will be on America’s oil and natural gas producers. The fact that OSHA did not convene a small business advocacy review panel for upstream oil and gas, as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, is troubling. The purpose of the panel is to examine costs, impacts, and possible alternatives to minimize the adverse impacts regulations can have on small businesses. Ideally, one of the results of such a review would be a better understanding of the cost impacts and potential job losses, which might result from today’s rule.

“IPAA has emphasized the critical role personal protective equipment plays in achieving our goal of eliminating worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The fact that consistent, widespread use of respirators as an effective primary line of defense is validated with today’s rule, which allows the use of those respirators while industry continues to make the necessary investments into the research and development of effective, affordable engineering controls.

“America’s oil and natural gas producers consider worker safety to be the highest priority in their daily operations. Industry’s ongoing commitment to that principle is recognized within today’s respirable crystalline silica rule.

“IPAA remains committed to using the time we have been granted to continue working with OSHA and further our ongoing efforts to protect every worker within our industry.”

In February 2014, IPAA joined American Petroleum Institute (API) in submitting formal comments to the U.S. Department of Labor affirming that its rule will create profound detrimental economic consequences on companies large and small as they struggle to implement this burdensome rule.

About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.

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Neal Kirby

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