Oil field work is a dangerous industry to get into. In 2017, there were 8 deaths for every 100 workers in the oil and gas extraction industry.
In an effort to limit the number of injuries and fatalities in the industry, companies put in place strict safety standards. Most accidents can be avoided if workers stay alert and follow these standards.
Being aware of what activities pose the most risk is also a good way to protect yourself. Let’s take a look at the most dangerous hazards that you can expect to encounter in this line of work.
With all the dangers on the oil field, it may be surprising that the biggest culprit in oil field deaths is good old fashioned traffic accidents.
Oil workers drive long distances and operate large vehicles that they may not be 100% used to yet. Plus, oil workers work long hours, meaning they are often tired when they get behind the wheel.
Those factors come together in a not-so-delicious recipe of disaster.
Caught In/Struck By
There is a lot of complicated machinery used in oil field work. Thus, it should come at no surprise that getting caught in them or struck by moving parts is another big contributor to oil field injuries.
Using proper protective equipment can help reduce the risk/severity of injuries. Additionally, workers should only operate machinery for which they have received proper training.
Another unsurprising source of oil field injuries and fatalities are explosions and fires. There are various flammable vapors, gases, and other chemicals like hydrogen sulfide that can be present at the job site.
Cutting torches, electrical energy sources, and even a spark of static electricity can ignite these flammable components. Even something as simple as lighting a cigarette can set off an explosion. Workers should have specific training on how to maintain safety while working with these hazardous materials.
On top of the explosion danger, these hazardous gases and fumes can get trapped in the confined spaces common in the field. Breathing these can cause a whole list of health problems, poisoning, and even death.
Oil workers spend a lot of time on high platforms and working with equipment high in the air. This presents the danger of falling.
Falling, in general, is a big deal. In fact, worldwide, falling is the second leading cause of accidental death. Whenever you are working high up in the air, be sure to follow the safety standards at all times to protect yourself from this risk.
Safety in Oil Field Work
So how do you stay safe in such a dangerous industry? Take advantage of and pay close attention to the safety training offered by your company.
Stay alert and be aware of the hazards. Then you can enjoy the lucrative paycheck that comes with oil field work without getting injured or killed in the process.
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