When your health is at risk on an oil field

On the oil fields in Texas, literally every part of your body is vulnerable. While oil and gas extraction companies can lower the risks by following safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the health hazards associated with your job cannot be entirely eliminated. We at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., understand the responsibilities your employer has to protect your health.

OSHA lists a few major hazards that you may face on the oil field. Inhalation of hydrogen sulfide and silica can both be fatal, but even in small doses, if the right precautions are not taken, these substances may cause permanent, life-shortening damage to your health. Exposure to diesel exhaust may also cause long-term health problems. The threats from these and many other material exposures should be minimized through the following:

  • Respiratory protection
  • Eye and face protection
  • Hazardous communication materials
  • Training on how to handle hazardous materials 

Another potential exposure hazard occurs because of radioactive materials that may be present in oil and gas formations. You may be at risk if you handle equipment that has come into contact with mud, pipe scales and sludge, as these often become contaminated.

By the time you finish a stint on an oil field, you may be exhausted. The long shifts and irregular hours contribute to fatigue, even if you are able to get enough rest throughout your scheduled workweek. However, in such a dangerous job, a slip-up due to sleepiness can be fatal for you or for someone else. OSHA has guidelines to address safe scheduling procedures based on research of the effects of shift work.

More information about health hazards on the job in the oil fields is available on our webpage.

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