Safety and Health Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers

Oil spill cleanup workers can face potential hazards from oil byproducts, dispersants,
detergents, and degreasers. Drowning, heat illness and falls also pose hazards, as can
encounters with insects, snakes, and other wild species native to the impacted areas. In
these situations, OSHA goals include ensuring that workers receive appropriate training
and protective equipment. This training tool was developed by National Institutes of
Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as a health and safety
resource for “skilled support personnel” who will participate in an oil spill response and
cleanup. This tool will help workers understand at an awareness level what an oil spill is,
characteristics of an oil spill response, and how to identify and control hazards pertaining
to the response and cleanup activities associated with an oil spill. Trainers may use this
tool (Safety And Health Awareness for Oil Spill Cleanup Workers.pdf) to aid in the development of an oil spill awareness level course or other awareness-level materials (fact sheets, table-top activities, etc.).

PLEASE NOTE: This is the FOURTH VERSION of the training tool, and it will continue to be updated. Refer to for the most current version. For information from OSHA on worker safety guidelines during oil spill cleanup, visit These web pages include information from federal and other sources intended to protect the health and safety of workers. Please check back often; we will continue to update the page with the most current information.

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