It does not take long for people who are unfamiliar with oil and gas worksites in Texas to conclude these sites appear a little different from those in other industries. But despite the labor-intensive, and sometimes hazardous, work that is completed at these sites, the day-to-day risks to employees are not unlike those experienced in other workplaces.
The leading causes of oil and gas work injuries are similar to those in other industries. However, the CDC reports that the fatality rate in the oil and gas industry is seven times more than that of other professions. The first step in developing a plan to minimize this fatality risk is taking a moment to identify where the danger exists.
Accidents on the highway are the main cause of oil and gas worker fatalities and account for 40% of the deaths. Factors that contribute to these accidents include long work hours, traveling in bad weather and using unpaved or secondary roads to transport products.
Three out of five fatalities that take place on an oil and gas worksite are due to contact injuries. These accidents commonly take place when a worker is struck by or caught in between heavy equipment, moving vehicles, overhead cranes, or other oil and gas workplace hazards.
Fires and explosions also cause fatalities at oil and gas worksites. These incidents often result from idling engines, hot work and open flames. Oil and gas workers must also remain aware of the confined space hazards caused by storage tanks, large containers and areas around wellheads.
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Oil and gas work injuries and fatalities are a common threat for individuals who are employed in the oil or gas industries. Individuals and their families who have suffered a significant injury or death on an oil and gas worksite might find it helpful to speak with an attorney.