I have worked in several dangerous industries and SAFETY is number 1.
Today (Thursday, 12/5/13) is Day 21 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.
Day 21: Failure to address workplace rules or worker safety.
- Click the button: Subpart A: General Provisions (245.100 – 245.120)
- In the “Section” dropdown box, click: None
- Submit your comment/s (below)
- Click “Submit”
Section 245.100-245.120 is dangerously silent on workplace rule or worker safety. The words and phrases “worker safety”, “workplace safety”, “OSHA” are not found in the proposed rules.
- The fatality rate of gas and oilfield workers is 7.6 times above all other industries and set an all-time high record in 2012 (King 2013). An inescapably dangerous work setting under the best of circumstances, frack pads are rendered even more dangerous by well operators who eschew workplace safety standards and who force employees to work excessively and dangerously long hours.
- Sixteen (16) to 20 hour work shifts can be scheduled with the end result that exhausted workers make mistakes in an unforgiving environment or fall asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle, often claiming their own lives and the lives of residents who happen to be on the wrong road at the wrong time (Urbina 2012).
- There are at least two work related dangers at frack pads that should fall under OSHA regulations: exposure to (1) radiation and (2) silica dust. Both can increase rates of cancer among exposed workers and both kinds of work-site related exposure are limited and regulated by OSHA. Yet, the oil and gas industry have found an easy way to escape regulation: simply don’t test for work place exposure. Since there are no data on exposure, OSHA cannot step in and demand workplace fixes.
- IDNR must require fracking operators to adhere to OSHA rule and regulations, especially regarding dust and radioactivity.
- IDNR must develop rules which recognize and regulate non-union frack operations to address inherently dangerous workplace conditions, including but not limited to work shifts, working conditions, and truck transportation to and from operations.
Bloomington, IL 61701
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