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Oil Spill Worker's Health Effects – A Burning Issue

Potential health hazards have been a burning issue at the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill as the spilled oil has spread and has begun to cause life threatening pollution. Workers and the general public residing in the nearby areas have become victims to this large scale destruction. Serious medical problems have been observed that can only be limited by taking certain safety precautions. As we know, the government as well OSHA has taken effective steps to ensure the safety and health of the workers and also that of the common people.

The oil spill needs more and more workers with the passing of time, and that may be the reason for the rapidity of growth in adverse health effects. The workers have been facing problems like headaches and breathing difficulties and many have been hospitalized due to sudden illness. Till date, at Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 60 exposure-related complaints have been filed.

Dr. David Michaels, the assistant secretary of the labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has said, “What OSHA is doing, along with other agencies, is monitoring exposures on the beaches and on the boats to determine what sort of protection workers should be receiving. At this point we see no evidence of exposure that would require respirators.”

A mobile public health clinic has also opened in the town of Venice to serve those cleanup workers complaining of sickness. The aim of this clinic is to help any worker who needs it. Clean up workers run the highest risk, and hence most of the cases are that of the workers.

Now, the health of the workers at the Gulf of Mexico is a burning issue and to eliminate it, OSHA has been working round-the-clock. It has made a 4 hour safety training mandate for the workers. Other than this, OSHA provides OSHA HAZWOPER courses that ensures the safety and the health of the workers at dangerous workplaces.