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Top Ten Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards At Oil And Gas Drilling Sites

# Citations Total Penalties OSHA Standard
60 $225,235 Guarding floor and wall openings and holes
51 $181,569 Wiring methods, components, and general use equipment
46 $180,985 General Duty Clause
38 $113,372 Medical services and first aid
36 $79,415 General requirements*
29 $102,719 Wiring design and protection
26 $57,060 Portable fire extinguishers
26 $25,830 Hazard Communication
25 $83,389 General requirements*
24 $56,674 Powered industrial trucks

(October 2010 through September 2011 by number of citations.)

* There are numerous OSHA standards that include "General Requirements". The OSHA list of frequently cited OSHA standards at oil and gas drilling sites does not specify which standards were actually cited.

The following are summaries of the key provisions of each of the eight OSHA standards that were specifically identified in the above list. The following do not provide information about everything covered by each of the listed standards, but they provide a broad overview.

1910.23 - Guarding floor and wall openings and holes

OSHA Safety

OSHA 1910.23 requires that every stairway floor opening be guarded by a standard railing. For infrequently used stairways, where traffic across the opening prevents the use of a fixed standard railing, there must be a hinged floor opening cover and removable standard railings on all exposed sides except at the entrance to stairway.

Every ladderway floor opening and platform must be guarded by a standard railing with a standard toeboard on all exposed sides, except the entrance side. The entrance passage through the railing must have a swinging gate or an offset so that a person cannot walk directly into the opening.

Every hatchway and chute floor opening must also be guarded.

Whenever employees are exposed to a fall of 6 feet or more, either a guardrail system, safety net system or personal fall arrest system must be used.  In general, it is better to use fall prevention systems, such as guardrails, than fall protection systems, such as safety nets or fall arrest devices, because preventing a fall is the best option.

1910.305  - Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use

This standard covers the grounding of electrical equipment, wiring and insulation, including temporary wiring and splicing.  Metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and any other metal noncurrent-carrying parts that serve as grounding conductors, with or without the use of supplementary equipment grounding conductors, must be effectively bonded to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on them. Threads, contact points, and contact surfaces must be free from nonconductive paint, enamel or similar coatings.

General Duty Clause

The OSHA General Duty Clause states that each employer must:

(1) furnish to each of his employees, employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

(2) comply with the OSHA occupational safety and health standards.

The OSHA General Duty Clause also requires that each employee comply with the occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this the OSHA Act of 1970 which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

1910.151 - Medical services and first aid

This section of the OSHA standards requires the employer to ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.  If the employer does not have an infirmary, clinic, or hospital close to the workplace, and which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons must be adequately trained to render first aid.  In addition, adequate first aid supplies must be readily available.

Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.

1910.304  Wiring design and protection

This OSHA standard provides the electrical grounding requirements for equipment and circuits, including a requirement for the identification of grounded and grounding conductors.  Some of the key points include:

A conductor used as a grounded conductor must be identifiable and distinguishable from all other conductors. No grounded conductor may be attached to any terminal or lead so as to reverse designated polarity, and they are not to be used for any purpose other than grounding.

Where more than one nominal voltage system exists in a building containing multiwire branch circuits, each ungrounded conductor of a multiwire branch circuit, where accessible, must be identified by phase and system. The means of identification must be permanently posted at each branch-circuit panelboard.

Receptacles installed on 15 and 20-ampere branch circuits must be of the grounding type

1910.157 - Portable fire extinguishers

The requirements of this OSHA standard cover the placement, use, maintenance and testing of portable fire extinguishers provided for the use of employees.

1910.1200 - Hazard Communication

At the time the citations in the above top ten list were issued, the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) required Right-To-Know (RTK) labeling of hazardous chemicals.  The OSHA HCS is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This change to the HCS provides a world-wide common way to classify chemicals and communicate hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers;
  • All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.

1910.178 - Powered industrial trucks

This OSHA standard provides the safety requirements related to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.  It places age and training requirements on power industrial truck operators, as well as operating, testing and labeling requirements for powered industrial trucks.

Using Labels and Signs To Help Prevent Receiving One Of The OSHA Top Ten Citations For Oil And Gas Drilling Sites

Labels and signs are an important part of a safety program. They communicate needed safety hazard warnings at the location where there are needed.  But labels and signs can do more. They provide proper operating procedures and reminders about following the correct procedures. The provide traffic control, reminders about safety equipment, and required LOTO tags, pipe markers and arc flash labels.  They identify wires and provide wiring information on panels and equipment.

All of these types of labels and signs can be made by one label printer, a DuraLabel printer such as the DuraLabel TORO.  Call 1-888-326-9244 today for more information about DuraLabel printers and tough-tested supplies. Be sure to ask about the warranties you get with a DuraLabel printer.

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