Special Report: What We Have Learned From The Oil Spills

The Gulf Oil Spill has taught us that a spill is not a singular event but a series of  poor decisions; lax regulatory enforcement or maintenance;a lack of qualified/well-trained people and bottom line thinking. One question that I have been asked about this situation is “What have we learned that can help combat future oil spills” . Here are some of the things we have learned from the oil spill.

  1. America has received “crash” courses in petroleum and safety engineering, marine biology, forensics (accident reconstruction), geology, hazardous materials response and environmental engineering and was interested to hear more . One of the most interesting issues about all of these fields  is they are some of the very same fields where there are shortages of qualified people. Don’t believe me? (Search “petroleum” on Career Builder). I  have written numerous times about the growth predictions for STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics), related jobs from www.bls.gov and other places. These opportunities are real and they will grow even more in the coming years as  more of the “Baby Boomer” workforce retires. It is my sincere hope that someone was influenced to look at these career fields as their future career choice.
  2. The Federal government needs more qualified inspectors for offshore energy facilities: Many news outlets including the Wall Street Journal and  Washington Post reported the fact that Mineral Materials Management Service (MMS) only had 60 inspectors to oversee 4,000 rigs. The testimony of Mary Kendall, the Inspector General highlighted the fact that inspectors received “On the job training” and that ” inspector training and training programs have not kept pace with the technological advancements occurring within the industry.” With that assessment and the impending overhaul of the agency, there will be some additional job opportunities with MMS for those who are interested in environmental, health & safety (EH&S) careers. The CSP or Certified Safety Professional is a great certification to have when looking at these job opportunities.
  3. The Oil & Gas industry, Federal Authorities and Gulf State governments will need an on-call cadre of cleanup workers: It is expected that the authorities and industry will put together a well-trained clean up task force for future spills to alleviate confusion and streamline operations in the future. However, training workers from scratch to clean up a hazardous material like oil is a huge undertaking which presents a host of problems. 40 hour HAZWOPER training is a good start but it is not enough. We can also expect these new workers to get advanced emergency management training such as incident command training as the government looks at ways to prepare for future incidents. Job seekers who want to be on the front lines of hazardous material clean up should look to get the Certified Hazardous Material Manager  (CHMM), Hazardous Material Manager in Training certifications (HMMT) or Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP). These certifications will give more in-depth knowledge on protocol and safety procedures.
  4. Environmental clean up technology companies will receive more investment to develop better technology.: We learned very quickly that our country does not have enough skimmers, booms, vacuums and other equipment to handle a large spill or other disaster of this type. Kevin Costner showed everyone that a great idea, some money and a lot of patience will do wonders for investments in oil clean up technology. You can expect investment to flow into these companies once the government agencies overhaul the regulations. Before you invest in any company make sure you understand the risks. 
  5. Safety Jobs will be hot: The federal government is in the process of overhauling the safety regulations which govern the oil & gas industry but the rule changes will also effect other industries who also use hazardous materials.  The affected companies will update their internal safety policies; step up training and enforcement. Look for Safety Training, Process Safety Management  and field safety positions to open up.

Oil Spill Coverage Over

This concludes Hinton Human Capital’s coverage of the oil spill. In the suggested reading I have provided links to other articles which will help job seekers to find opportunities in the hazardous materials response field.  I encourage readers to comment and ask questions.

Suggested Reading

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3 Hot Environmental Certification of Oil Spill and Other Disasters

How to Leverage Your Oil Spill Clean up Experience Into a New Career

International Directory of Oil Spill Contractors

Special Report: The Long Term Oil Spill Jobs Come Into View

This is one in a series of posts to wrap up Hinton Human Capital’s coverage of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. While all of us are still hurting for the animals and people of the gulf coast who were impacted by this tragedy, the capped well is a good signal that the healing process has started. It is my sincere hope that many people were influenced to make environmental clean up and protection their new career of choice to fight the spills of the future.

What’s Next?

Once the oil well is fully capped and the relief well is in production, we should expect a major ramp up of clean up operations to begin. When I say “major” I mean that I expect more people and equipment to get involved in the clean up process to get the spill cleaned up as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The ripple effect of the activity will continue to create temporary jobs for the gulf coast economy. When the cleanup has reached a point of conclusion (where the government, scientists and the responsible party agree the cleanup has reached a point to stop), the “shovel based” cleanup jobs will wind down and the restoration and monitoring focused jobs will start appearing. These jobs will go forward for a long time and may require people with specialized skills.  Let me explain further.

20 Years and Counting?

The Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration projects have been going forward for over 20 years. Teams of biologists, toxicologists, field sampling and wildlife survey crews routinely go out to the Prince William Sound spill area to monitor the recovery of wild life and plant populations as well as check on degradation of  the oil that was left behind. Read More Here According to the latest information from the Oil Spill Trustee Committee, it may take centuries for the left over oil to degrade completely.

Long Term Gulf Oil Spill Recovery Jobs

The recovery projects for the gulf coast may not be much different but the companies and governments involved will look for ways to accelerate the recovery process wherever possible. In the gulf coast clean up Environmental Engineers will deploy sustainable oil clean up techniques such as bioremediation and phytoremediation in the hard-to-clean areas. These techniques use local microorganisms and plants which use constituents of oil in the metabolic processes and break down its molecules in to harmless natural compounds.  It has been widely publicized that the Exxon Valdez clean up workers developed illnesses after their experience. The one difference  between the Exxon Valdez Spill and Deep Horizon that may happen is that Environmental Health professionals will continue to  monitor the health of the cleanup workers for a number of years after the spill. Oil exposure can cause a number of different illnesses. Some will take years to develop and treat. 

Sound Off

  1. Has the oil spill made you consider an environmental career? Why or Why not?
  2. What do you think the oil spill workers should do after the spill is cleaned up?
  3. What should be done to stimulate job growth after the cleanup stops?

Further Reading

3 Environmental Certifications That Help Oil Spill Workers

Job Alert:Project Manager,Asbestos/Mold Remediation-Atlanta

Hinton Human Capital, an emerging leader in Climate Change, Environmental and Infrastructure markets is currently seeking an Atlanta based Asbestos/Mold Remediation Project Manager with a successful track record of winning and delivering projects for industrial/manufacturing, government and private clients. The ideal candidate must have the following experience and skills:

  • A minimum of 10 years experience in asbestos/ mold abatement  projects for industrial, government and private clients.
  • Strong marketing skills with track record of winning new and repeat business from new and existing clients through relationship building and exemplary service.
  • Demonstrated project management experience in directing the work of others, meeting deadlines and budgets and manage multiple activities.
  • Strong experience with estimating and proposal development required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills required.


BS in Business,Engineering or Environmental Sciences required

Demonstrated experience in the environmental industry is required

CHMM, PE or PG is preferred

Apply Here

Job Alert:Oil Spill Cleanup Jobs in New Orleans, Louisiana – TRADESMEN INTERNATIONAL

This posting has expired.

Please Try Alabama or Florida

Hinton Human Capital has joined the effort to refer all who are interested in  Oil Spill cleanup jobs to the appropriate places. Here is a posting from Tradesman International, a company who is hiring cleanup workers.

Find Jobs – Oil Spill Cleanup Jobs in New Orleans, Louisiana – TRADESMEN INTERNATIONAL.

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Alabama Oil Spill Jobs

Hazardous Material Certifications

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Q&A: Are Oil Spill and Other Disaster Recovery Related Jobs Green?

The Answer Is Yes

Disaster Recovery and Environmental Remediation/Restoration(HAZMAT) jobs are definitely green. Here is why: Oil  is a hazardous material which can cause serious damage in an ecosystem or a human population if it is left unchecked. Every person involved the clean up process must be specially trained in proper cleaning,disposal and safety protocols to ensure the oil is removed without further damage to the environment. (During the Exxon Valdez cleanup, crews used steam cleaners which were later found to kill off important microbial life.) After the spill is successfully cleaned, teams of scientists are assigned to monitor the area for ecological and health effects. 

What Industries Hire People With This Training?

  1. Government: Most major cities have a hazmat trained personnel to respond to any type of emergent environmental accident, natural disaster or terrorism.Their first order of business is to establish what type of contamination; how much and how to stop the contamination from spreading. The federal and state governments hire hazmat personnel as of their emergency for major disasters and terrorist incidents.
  2. Energy: Believe or not most energy companies have hazmat trained executives and staff member whose role is to prevent situations like the Louisiana Oil spill from happening through compliance with EPA. OSHA and state environmental regulations. Nuclear Hazmat personnel have more extensive training.
  3. Environmental Consulting Firms: Environmental consulting firms are one of employers for hazardous waste trained professionals. The goverment and private companies hire these firms for their expertise and resources.
  4. Manufacturing:  Any manufacturing operation which uses any type hazardous chemicals will have hazmat trained staff. These people ensure that hazardous chemicals are properly used and handled throughout the manufacturing process. They also work closely with health & safety staff to train employees on how to handle spills and exposures.
  5. Transportation/Logistics: Hazardous materials have to be shipped to their users by pipeline, train, truck or ship. Hazmat trained personnel are responsible for putting together protocols for safe transport and emergency response.

What You Should Do

Give us some feedback to let us know if these articles have been helpful. Have a safe day.

Suggested  Articles & Websites

How to Leverage Your New Disaster and Oil Spill Cleanup Experience into a New Career

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