The oil and gas industry is a serious workplace. As this industry grows, so do its risks. The industry is full of hazards and without the proper safety measures, it can become even more harmful.
The oil and gas industry prioritizes health and safety measures on the job site. There are multiple occupational hazards that workers must know of to keep themselves safe. Apart from taking safety measures such as wearing PPE, taking breaks, focusing on tasks, there are other safety measures you should consider on the job site.
Therefore, you need to know of the potential hazards in the oil and gas industry and what you can do to minimize their risks.
Working in the oil and gas industry is hard. It comprises long-hour shifts. This can cause fatigue if the workers don’t take enough breaks to refresh themselves. Oil trucks cause most of the vehicle collisions on highways. The reason being that drivers feel fatigued and tired.
The drivers have to cover long distances from homes to lodging sites and equipment yards. This becomes fatiguing for them and they become tired because of the long hours. To mitigate this issue, we advise limiting the hours they are awake and monotonous tasks. Drinking and drugging must be banned for everyone, especially for drivers. There must be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the trucks in case of oil spills on the road.
Hydrogen Sulfide is a toxic gas that is found in oil and gas deposits. It has a rotten egg smell and is very harmful to your health. Inhaling it can cause the body to tremble, affect the lungs, and lead to death. It may be possible to revive the person if immediate medical help is given.
You can avoid inhaling it if you wear PPE that includes safety masks and respirators. Therefore, only those should be allowed in the vicinity who are wearing PPE.
Similarly, other harmful chemicals such as silica and mercury can be hazardous. Silica may not affect you immediately, but its deposits live in the lungs. With time, this can damage the lungs and may cause shortness of breath, severe cough, and death. Mercury exposure can affect the brain and cause brain tumors or other serious diseases.
Fires And Explosions
The oil and gas industry is prone to fires and explosions. The common reasons behind such incidents are open flames, site lighting, smoking, and engines.
There are some other reasons, such as static electricity and weather that are hard to notice. They don’t have any smell and thus can be hard to predict. Fires and explosions are the causes of sheer negligence of workers.
To avoid this, there must be proper training and signboards that show preventive measures. Check in with your workers regularly to prevent any unusual activity and set fines for anyone who disobeys.
Falls From Elevations
Improper safety measures can lead to falls from heights. You must invest in the proper safety gear of a good company to avoid such incidents. Most incidents occur due to the harness not being properly connected to the anchor point. This leads to ergonomic injuries and even deaths.
Working in the oil industry involves lifting heavy objects, awkward bending, reaching overheads, going into depths, and more. These positions increase your chance of falling from heights. Donning the right type of safety PPE is essential to avoid such accidents and also meet the regulations of the Safety and Health Administration.
Workers have to go into reserve pits, mud pits, storage tanks, and other excavated areas. These confined spaces can cause health hazards such as asphyxiation.
Getting caught in unguarded machines is a nightmare for many workers. There are catheads, compressors, kelly drives, draw works, and belt wheels. All these can prove to be dangerous when there is no one to observe them.
Machine hazards can be avoided by remaining careful of your surroundings. Follow the safety measures for operating such machines and beware of anybody present around them.