The oil and gas industry is a lucrative field with many rewarding benefits, but with those benefits come many risks. It is possible for workers in the gas and oil industry to be injured in fires, accidents, or falls. By knowing the most common safety hazards for oilfield workers, you can take the necessary precautions that will help protect you. Knowledge of common problems and dangers means that you can look out for warning signs to try to prevent accidents and injuries to create a safer job site.
Fires or Explosions
Both oil and gas are flammable materials, which opens up the possibility of dangerous fires and explosions. These fires can happen either from an open flame, heat created by friction, or hot surfaces at work. Because of the risk of fire or explosion, it is essential that workers wear personal protective equipment, including flame-resistant clothing and respiratory protection. All workplaces should also include detailed procedures regarding the safe handling and storing of combustibles and emergency plans if necessary.
Often, workers drive with equipment to remote job sites, and they may get into accidents along the way. This is the biggest cause of death and injury in individuals. Oil workers must deal with the unpredictability of the drivers on the road with them as well as their own fatigue, the weight of their vehicles, and the large loads they are carrying. It is important to limit working and driving hours to prevent over-exhaustion that could potentially lead to an accident. Sleep and awareness of the impact of medication or alcohol on driving abilities are crucial to limit accidents.
Falls (Elevated and Ground-Level)
Climbing is a routine part of the job in an oil field. The oil rig requires workers to climb, guide others, and repair the equipment. The ones who climb could potentially risk falling and serious injury. Because of this, it is crucial that they wear proper protective equipment and a harness.
There is also the risk of ground-level falls that are especially common in darker conditions. Because it is hard to see in the dark, it is possible to trip on something. Or, if a worker is carrying something in front of them, they may not see an obstacle and fall. To prevent falls at night due to darkness, use light towers to help light the area. Inclement weather can also cause issues by making slippery surfaces, so it’s imperative that you stay safe in such conditions. Avoiding the most common safety hazards for oilfield workers can be done with the right tools, precautions, and planning.