The oil and gas industry in Texas is lucrative, and potentially high earnings are significant drawing cards. If you were drawn to this industry, you will soon realize that it is a demanding and dangerous environment. You might find yourself work 12-hour shifts for extended periods of up to two weeks at a time.
Along with the inherent dangers posed by hazardous heavy equipment and combustible materials, you will face the unique hazards of your particular job on the rig. Furthermore, your safety might depend on the accuracy and alertness of others because errors can cause deadly explosions.
Most dangerous jobs on oil rigs
The injury and fatality rates in the oil and gas industry are concerning, and the following rig jobs reportedly feature in most work-related accidents:
- Roustabout: If you are new to the oil industry, you will likely start as a roustabout, working on the front lines and learning the job through hands-on experience with hazardous drilling equipment. You will do strenuous physical labor to gain the necessary experience while working in extreme weather conditions.
- Derrick Hand: If this is your job, your responsibilities will include monitoring the insertion and extraction of the drill pipe and resolving problems if equipment jams occur in the drill hole. You will face extreme heights, extreme weather conditions and extended work hours, all of which can cause errors with devastating consequences.
- Oilfield Driver: While there are strict regulations and limits to the hours that commercial truckers may drive on Texas highways, they do not apply for the trucks you drive on the oilfield. Your shifts could have you driving dangerous, often badly maintained, vehicles for 20-hour shifts, increasing the risks of fatal accidents.
Safety authorities agree that these are the most hazardous occupations in the oil and gas industry. They make up a significant percentage of work-related injuries and fatalities that occur each year. There are safety precautions that you can take to remain safe, but exhaustion and fatigue can limit your alertness and put your life on the line.
Do you know your rights?
If you are the victim of a workplace injury in the oilfield, you might have questions about your rights to compensation. Mounting medical expenses and lost wages can be a significant burden that might slow down your recovery. A sensible step would be to consult with an attorney who has experience in dealing with the workers' compensation laws as well as the civil justice system of Texas. The lawyer can guide you through the legal and administrative proceedings to obtain the maximum compensation to cover financial and emotional losses.