Top five accident risks for oil field workers

Working in an oil field is an inherently dangerous job, and as such involves a wide number of both safety and health risks. Those who engage in this type of work are often well aware of the risks. However, they may not be able to avoid an accident due to the unpredictable nature of a job that includes so many variables that may be beyond their direct control.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists 10 different types of safety risks for oil field workers on their website. Here are five of the most common:

1. Explosions

Oil field workers are exposed to flammable gasses and vapors that can explode and cause serious personal injury. Heat can come from a range of sources, including sparks, friction, lightning, cigarettes or hot surfaces.

2. Vehicle collisions

Workers who operate in oil fields often drive vehicles that transport workers, equipment and oil. The dangerous nature of this transport can lead to accidents that can cause oil field workers to become injured. OSHA said that highway vehicle accidents account for a full four out of every 10 deaths of workers in the oil field industry.

3. Struck by/caught between hazards

Oil fields are full of heavy equipment and vehicles on site. For every five on-site injuries at oil fields, OSHA said three of them are a result of getting struck by equipment or stuck in or between hazards. 

4. Injuries related to electricity

Electrical accidents can also present a major hazard to oil field workers, especially if equipment is defective or not properly maintained. Workers must know how to properly operate equipment and take precautions to avoid electrocution and prevent blowouts.

5. Accidents related to high pressure

Oil field workers use pumps operating under high pressure and work with compressed gasses. Leaks and failures can lead to injuries.

With the wide variety of hazards and high potential for accident and injury in an oil field work setting, it is important for Texas workers to understand what to do if they become injured on the job. In some cases, litigation may be necessary to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other consequences from the injury.