The oil and gas industry provides important resources to the modern world, but it also regularly exposes its workers to unsafe conditions. OSHA’s list of oilfield hazards includes vehicle collisions, confined spaces, electrical hazards, and more. Hazards are nearly inevitable in this industry.
While you can’t completely avoid the potential hazards of working in an oilfield, you and your company can take steps to prevent problems from worsening. You can also develop a strategy for responding to emergencies. Let’s look at a few oilfield safety tips from experts in the industry.
Make Sure the Workspace Isn’t a Maze
Occupational safety begins with knowing your workplace. Give new hires detailed tours and hang maps strategically so no one gets lost. Mark exits and landmarks (such as fire extinguishers) with signs visible from a distance, and refurbish any faded signs or paint. Not only will this cut down on time spent walking around looking for a particular spot, but it will also allow for faster evacuation or emergency response.
Pro Tip: Remember that if you call in an outside emergency crew (like EMTs), they won’t necessarily know where everything is in your workplace. Maintaining clear signs and maps will help them find you faster.
Maintain Your Equipment
Several recent oilfield disasters showcase the importance of keeping all your equipment working properly. Perform regular maintenance checks and follow up immediately on any potential problems. Also, remember to purchase a reliable transmission and parts for your equipment. Replace old parts before they cause you problems.
Provide Safe Vehicles and Monitor Their Use
Driving accidents cause the most injuries and fatalities for people employed in the oil industry. Just like your field equipment, keep your work vehicles regularly serviced and safe to drive. If you suspect your workers are driving the vehicles improperly to cause these accidents, make sure to provide additional safety training.
Make Friends with Your Local Emergency Responders
If there’s a fire station, ER, or another emergency responder near your oilfield, chances are you’ll be seeing them a lot. Encourage familiarity between the two groups. If possible, offer the emergency responders a tour of your workplace to help them get familiar with the layout. In an emergency, a good relationship and familiarity with your oilfield can help quite a bit.
Keep the Workspace Clean
Obviously, you can’t keep an oilfield spotless. But you can do your best to contain spills, damage from malfunctioning equipment, and other problems. This can help reduce the risk of falling and the risk of fire spreading rapidly, two major hazards noted by OSHA. Don’t let a minor mess make a true emergency even worse in the future.
Promoting Industrial Safety
A career in the oil and gas industry can be a very rewarding, yet very challenging, choice. You can make the job easier on yourself and your employees by maintaining a safe work environment and providing training to keep hazards low. Prevent accidents before they happen and make your oilfield a safe place to work.
Want more information on oilfield safety? Connect with us to talk to our experts on safety and equipment maintenance.