S&E: Worker Safety and Health - NIOSH Perspectives from the Deepwater Horizon Response

Speaker: Dr. Margaret M. Kitt, MD, MPH
Speaker Dr. Margaret M. Kitt, MD, MPH
Director NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. Kitt received a Bachelor of Science from The State University of New York at Albany, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a Master of Public Health from the University of ...

Director NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health



Dr. Kitt received a Bachelor of Science from The State University of New York at Albany, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington. She is certified by the American College of Preventive Medicine in both Aerospace Medicine and Occupational Medicine. Dr. Kitt was a Senior Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, serving for 14 years. In 2002, she joined the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies.  She has served as the NIOSH Associate Director for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Office and is currently the NIOSH Deputy Director for Program. During the Deepwater Horizon Response Dr. Kitt functioned as the NIOSH Operational Lead for the event.

Full Description
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Offshore Drilling Unit, located 45 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast, suffered a massive explosion that culminated in a fire which ultimately sunk the unit.  Eleven workers lost their lives and seventeen other workers were injured in the explosion and fire.  Oil began flowing into the Gulf of Mexico soon after the explosion and continued to flow until the well was finally capped on July 15, 2010.  The disaster presented significant challenges in protecting and ensuring the safety of the tens of thousands of responders, geographically spread across the Gulf of Mexico region in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  As part of the response effort, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) supported the Unified Area Command (UAC) by leading several initiatives to help protect DWH responders.  These activities included rostering of workers, conducting health hazard evaluations, providing technical guidance and communication/educational materials, conducting health surveillance activities, and performing toxicity testing on samples of the oil dispersant and the crude oil itself.

 
 
Organizer Christa Henager