Read: BP’s Document on Workers’ Illnesses and Injuries, Little Mention of Chemical Exposure
If you've been following our coverage, you know we've been bugging BP and several federal and state agencies for statistics on worker illness.
On Friday night, BP finally posted a document containing some injury and illness data, and it shows that from April 22 until June 10, 485 injuries and illnesses were reported by cleanup workers. You can check it out in our document viewer.
Most of the injuries recorded were sprained ankles, cuts, rashes, and back and neck pain; there were also some injuries from lightning strikes. The document counts 86 reported "illnesses" in the Gulf. But there's no breakdown of illnesses possibly connected to chemical exposure, whether due to oil or dispersants. (The document's one reference to something of this nature is a case of "suspected inhalation of crude oil vapors.")
Compare that with statistics released last week by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, which showed 71 health complaints believed to be due to chemical exposure, 51 of which were from cleanup workers.
BP's data is only for "recordable" injuries and illnesses, and does not include "non-recordable first aid cases." The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules governing what makes an illness or injury recordable. We've called BP and a few experts to ask about the extent to which BP's data reflects chemical exposure complaints in particular. We'll update when we know more.