When you are performing proper maintenance on oilfield sites, you are involved in helping to prevent others from being injured or killed in an accident or explosion. However, doing so could put your own life and limbs at risk. The legal team at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., often counsels victims of accidents involving drilling equipment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration identifies three primary dangers that you might come across, no matter where you work on the drilling equipment.
1. Slips, trips and falls: You could fall anywhere, but the injury you receive could be location specific. For example, the mud circulating system presents a slipping hazard, and your employer should have guardrails around the mud tanks to keep you from falling in and drowning. On the derrick equipment, you are more at risk of falling from a great height if you are not wearing proper safety gear—an accident that is likely to result in permanent or fatal injuries.
2. Caught in/struck by/crushed between accidents: What you wear may be the difference between completing your task or losing the use of your hand. If you are not wearing the right gloves, or if you are wearing loose clothing, you could get pulled into a machine other moving equipment such as chains. There should be shields covering exposed belts, shafts and other revolving parts.
3. Burns: Whether it is a shock from an electric motor, contact with a hot machine component or a splash of hot fluid, the resulting burn could leave you incapacitated. Wearing eye protection and other personal protective equipment in these environments should be mandatory.
Other injuries that are common on oilfield sites include sprains and strains, spinal cord injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. More information about the risks you may be exposed to on the jobsite is available on our web page.