Working in the oil business is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Even though it has extensive safety training programs, the fatality rate is still seven times higher than the average in all other industries. Surprisingly, the nonfatal injury rate is slightly lower than all private trades.
A recent boom doubled its workforce between 2003 and 2013. Unfortunately, this meant that injuries also increased by 27 percent. Safety considerations for working at an oil field are becoming even more critical for leaders to prioritize.
Contributing Factors To Unsafe Working Conditions
There are a handful of reasons that make this one of the deadliest jobs in the U.S.
- Long working hours (often with no days off) for 3-6 months at a time
- Older rigs have fewer safeguards than newer ones
- Less experienced workers
- Poor weather conditions
- Employees must work at night
- Physically demanding labor such as climbing up structures and using heavy machinery
No other industry experiences safety hazards on oil fields like these workers do.
Safety Practices To Implement
Employers are responsible for employee safety. They should frequently evaluate worksite protocols and modify them as needed to fix unsafe situations or procedures. Managers must be aware of the work culture they’re creating; feeling obligated to skip corners or not asking for assistance when necessary won’t help employees in the long run.
Even though the industry is multiplying, new workers still need to be adequately trained on using specialized equipment and the right skills. Thorough training will get them started right while continuing education will help them modify techniques as needed. Safety considerations for working at an oil field may evolve.
Managers cannot skimp on safety measures. Employees must wear personal protective equipment and practice safety (such as harnessing) when climbing high structures. Employees shouldn’t feel forced to work long hours in high-risk environments. This is especially important when considering that the number one cause of fatality is vehicular accidents, usually when driving to or from remote worksites while sleep-deprived.
No single work industry should have a fatality rate seven times higher than any other industry. It’s up to those within the trade to emphasize and practice workplace safety.