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More than 13,000 cleanup workers have been employed in the clean up operation for the oil spill affected areas at Gulf of Mexico, and each and every one of these workers are at high safety and health risk. Apart from this figure, there are nearly 1,800 federal employees from four separate states that are also directly involved with the clean up operation.

These workers are subject to such serious hazards like drowning, heat, fatigue, injury through sharp objects, and also there is danger of receiving bites from insects, snakes, and other wild species that are native to the Gulf Coast area. Crude oil, dispersant, oil constituents and byproducts, cleaning products and other chemicals all pose as threats to the workers health and safety. OSHA has provided proactive, vigorous leadership to ensure the safety of the workers at oil spill clean up operations.

OSHA has also been involved in other important activities and has contributed a lot towards the clean up. OSHA's efforts have thus been recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies, as well as BP. To ensure that the workers are protected from all hazards associated with their cleanup work, OSHA has worked round-the-clock to make sure no new cases of illness and further damages occur.

In a nutshell, here are just a few examples of what OSHA has done for the clean up operation at the Gulf of Mexico:

1.OSHA was involved in the Gulf Coast cleanup to ensure the safety and health of the workers.

2.OSHA, in collaboration with NIOSH and NIEHS, has striven to ensure that the workers that BP is hiring for the clean up operation, are all effectively trained. They have gone so far as to train the workers in a language and vocabulary they understand.

3.Since April 26th, OSHA staff has been constantly monitoring the workers safety and health and has also been assessing whether BP is providing appropriate worker safety and health protection gear.

4.About 20 to 25 OSHA compliance officers travel to all staging areas - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to ensure protection and safety of the workers. OSHA's Health Response Team has provided technical support (for worker exposure monitoring) to OSHA response site personnel in Louisiana.