Did you know that OSHA has a guidance document on its website for the oil and gas well drilling and servicing industry? Here's a link to the guidance.
You may ask why this is important to know. In many cases, reliance upon OSHA's guidance documents can be helpful not only to help defeat an OSHA citation, but also to defend against potential lawsuits alleging unsafe work practices resulting in injuries. While worker's compensation typically protects an employer from high dollar lawsuits by employees, non-employees, such as contractors on site, are not always covered by worker's compensation and those cases can potentially result in high dollar liability. Following OSHA's guidance may allow a defendant to argue that it followed advice from the federal agency tasked with ensuring employee safety and health. Of course, reviewing OSHA's guidance may help improve the safety of operations and avoid safety issues that result in OSHA inspections or lawsuits.