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A three-year alliance to promote worker awareness of industry-related hazards and solutions in the exploration and production of oil and gas ended up renewed last month between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mid Continent Exploration and Production Safety Network (MCEPS).

MCEPS promotes safety, health and environmental improvement in the exploration and production of oil and gas in Oklahoma, Kansas, and the Texas Panhandle.

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The MCEPS Network fosters a work environment that relies upon open communication and trust to raise the awareness of personnel in oil and gas production, operations, and servicing to industry hazards and safe practices.

As part of the alliance, last spring OSHA staff delivered a presentation focused on confined space safety to more than 80 workers.

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The OSHA Alliance Program fosters collaborative relationships with groups committed to worker safety and health.

Alliance partners help OSHA reach targeted audiences, such as employers and workers in high-hazard industries, and give them better access to workplace safety and health tools and information.

Through the Alliance, the organizations will use relevant injury, illness, and hazard exposure data when appropriate to help identify areas of emphasis for Alliance awareness, outreach, and communication activities. The Alliance will also explore and implement selected options to evaluate the effectiveness of the Alliance and measure the impact of its overall effort on improving workplace safety for employers and workers. In renewing this Alliance, OSHA and MCEPS recognize that On-site Consultation Project partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort, and that information about the products and activities of the Alliance may be shared with these partners for the advancement of common goals.

Raising Awareness
The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives related to raising awareness of OSHA’s rulemaking and enforcement initiatives:
• To share information on OSHA’s National/Regional/Local Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, and opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process.
• To share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
• To convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on safety and health issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.
• To encourage worker participation in workplace safety and health by Alliance members incorporating such opportunities into company worksite safety and health management programs.

Training and Education
The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following training and education objectives:
• To develop effective training and education programs for MCEPS monthly industry meetings regarding topics relevant to issues of current safety and health concern to the oil and gas, and to communicate such information to constituent employers and workers.
• To develop effective training and education programs for Alliance members to promote understanding of workers’ rights, including the use of the OSHA complaint process, and the responsibilities of employers and to communicate such information to workers and employers.
• To deliver or arrange for the delivery of training opportunities offered by industry recognized/accredited resources, organizations or providers such as ETC, IADC, PEC, OSHA, and OIPA.

Outreach and Communication
The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following outreach and communication objectives:
• To develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to develop ways of communicating such information (e.g., print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools, and OSHA’s and the MCEP’s Web sites) to employers and workers in the industry.
• To speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA’s Oil and Gas Conference, other professional conferences, local meetings, or other professional events.
• To share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding the oil and gas industry’s good practices or effective approaches through training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures (or any other applicable forum) developed by the participants.
• To work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects on the oil and gas industry that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.
• To develop and disseminate case studies on accident investigations or near misses and publicize their results.

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