Allinace Initiatives

The National STEPS Network Emerging Issues Focus Group was founded on May 30, 2012.


Emerging Issues History

In 2012, a paper was published by NIOSH warning of potential worker exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica during Hydraulic Fracturing. In response, the industry formed the all-volunteer Emerging Issues Focus Group through the National OSHA / NIOSH / STEPS Alliance. Statistical data from the NIOSH NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council FOG Database is one resource used to identify emerging safety and health issues. The Focus Group has developed and distributed educational materials and other resources for employers and employees to assist the industry in keeping abreast of emerging concerns. 


The group has expanded to include other topics such as hydrocarbon exposure during tank gauging, hot work hazards, and limitations of gas monitors. Our Alliance products are included in this section of the website. 

Meetings are open to anyone in the industry.

Please contact us if you are interested in participating.



Develop a team and provide tools and resources for specific issues affecting workers in the US Onshore Upstream Industry.

Three subgroups are formed for each focus:

  1. Industrial Hygiene Monitoring team
  2. Engineering Controls team

  3. Communication team

Quarterly team meetings have been established.


Issues Addressed

Silica Focus Group - The first issue addressed by the team was respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing.

Tank Gauging Focus Group - Tank Gauging was the second focus area addressed.

Additional focus areas include Ground Disturbance and Dropped Objects with others to follow as needed/appropriate.