Injury-Causing Hazards in the Oil and Gas Industry
Workers in the oil and gas industry are put at significant risk of injury and death each day. In addition to the general wear and tear on their bodies, other hazards may put them in harm’s way and lead to a potentially fatal incident. When taking a job in the oilfield, it is important for employees to understand some of the most significant concerns that come with the position, and know how to protect themselves. Here are five of the most significant safety concerns:
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
A common danger workers face is exposure to hazardous materials. These materials can include chemicals, fumes, and airborne particles that can cause a range of health problems. Inhaling or encountering these substances can lead to serious respiratory problems, skin irritations, and even cancer.
When working in the oilfield, it is important for employees to wear the proper safety gear to protect themselves from exposure. This may include respirators, gloves, and protective clothing. Employers should also provide workers with access to safe areas where they can take breaks and avoid exposure to hazards.
Risk of Explosion
Another major concern for workers in the oil and gas industry is the risk of fires and explosions. A variety of factors can cause these incidents, including faulty equipment, human error, and natural gas leaks. In addition to the risk of injury or death, fires and explosions can also cause extensive damage to property.
To protect themselves from fires and explosions, workers should be familiar with the proper safety procedures for their work area. This may include knowing how to shut off valves and using fire extinguishers. There should also be hazard communication procedures in place where there is an increased risk that a fire or explosion may occur.
Third Party Liability Issues
Third-parties (someone other than the worker’s employer) can create an injury risk factor for oil and gas workers. For example, if a worker is injured by a defective piece of equipment, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the equipment. Other examples include third-parties or their employees failing to follow safety procedures or site-owners negligently controlling the oilfield site.
Oil and gas employers should work with any third parties in their field to ensure that proper safety procedures are being followed at all times. Workers should also have an understanding of what is and is not appropriate behavior for the oilfield and the specific protocols they have to follow. When working with a third party, oilfield workers should know the appropriate channels to go through to report potentially harmful behaviors and where they can go if an injury occurs.
Another concern for workers in the oil and gas industry is defective machinery. This can include faulty equipment, vehicles, and tools that can lead to injuries or death. Defective machinery can also cause fires and explosions.
When defective equipment injures an employer, they should know the appropriate channels to report these issues and how to seek help.
Failure to Implement Safety Procedures
When companies fail to implement safety procedures and hazard communication protocols, it can put workers at significant risk. This can include not having proper safety equipment, not following guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and not having access to safe areas.
Workers should be familiar with the proper safety procedures for their tasks and how to report any hazards or injuries that occur. Employers should also be diligent in upholding their OSHA agreements and implement the necessary policies to keep workers safe.
Oilfield Accident? Call Maring Williams Law Office
Oilfield workers are entitled to certain rights when on-the-job, and if an injury occurs, they can pursue justice. Maring Williams Law Office can help injured workers determine their best course of action following an injury. Call (701) 402-6644 today to discuss your options.