NIOSH Director: New Partnerships Needed to Advance Oil and Gas Research 
NIOSH Director John Howard, MD, urges drilling, servicing, and operating companies to partner with the agency to advance occupational safety and health research in the oil and gas extraction industry. Some of the agency’s new projects are focused on characterizing exposure hazards to workers involved in drilling operations and evaluating controls to prevent exposures to hazards previously identified in well-servicing operations. These hazards include respirable crystalline silica, hydrocarbon gases and vapors, diesel particulate matter, and dermal exposures to drilling muds. Another upcoming project involves the expansion of the NIOSH Fatalities in Oil and Gas Extraction database, which collects detailed information about worker fatalities in the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry. NIOSH is expanding the national database to include non-fatal injuries. Agency epidemiologists are also completing a first-of-its-kind national survey of oil and gas workers. For more information, see the December 2018 issue of NIOSH eNews.