There are numerous career opportunities in the oil industry. However, these jobs may come with their own special risks. While great strides have been made in preventing injuries and fatalities while on the worksites, there is much work that needs to be done. Despite a 38 percent drop in fatal injuries in 2015 when compared to 2014, many people still get hurt while working on an oil rig, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It is vital for employees and employers alike to be aware of the dangers posed by the oil industry. By being cognizant of the dangers, better precautions can be taken to avoid catastrophes.
1. Exposure to volatile chemicals and fumes
Oil fields generally have many fumes and chemicals on the premises. While chemicals have the potential to cause immediate harm, the greater danger is in the long-term risks. Brain damage and respiratory issues can develop over time unless precautions are taken.
Oil is highly flammable. There are plenty of other chemicals and gases as well that can explode if exposed to certain conditions. A single spark can set off a chain reaction, leading to scarring and burns.
A variety of heavy tools and equipment are used on an oil rig. Misusing any of these devices can result in severe injuries, including amputations. Employers should provide sufficient training for every employee on the job site.
4. Head and brain injuries
Slipping and falling is a threat at virtually every workplace. However, unsafe conditions around an oil field can make these locations particularly dangerous. A single fall can lead to injuries in the spine, head or neck.
Many times, the reasons why these incidents occur can be traced back to an unsafe work environment, inadequate safeguards or insufficient training. Employers should take all necessary actions to prevent employees from getting hurt, or else they may end up on the wrong side of a personal injury lawsuit.