On November 14, 2013, government agencies held a national stand down event to promote awareness and emphasize the importance of health and safety practices in the oil and gas industry. Held at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, Texas, the event was sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the National Service, Transmissions, Exploration, and Production Safety Network, often referred to as STEPS.
"Employers need to ensure that jobs are planned out, everyone has adequate training in all aspects of safety, and workers need to be part of the planning," explained Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, during his remarks at the event. "We are telling employers that by identifying and eliminating hazards and training oil and gas workers to abate these hazards, you can save lives."
The event featured speeches, roundtable discussions, case study presentations, and videos on silica exposure and industry statistics. Participants were asked to pledge that, between now and January 30, 2014 they would spend at least one hour, in 15-minute increments, educating workers on hazards and safety practices.