Whether you’ve been working in the Texas oil industry for more than a decade or have recently begun a new career in this field, you undoubtedly know that such work can be both grueling and exhausting. It’s not uncommon to put in 12-hour shifts on a rig. You may also be at great risk for injury, especially concerning heavy equipment and combustible materials.
It’s your employer’s responsibility to provide proper training and safety equipment to help you and your coworkers stay safe. Oil workers may be prone to certain types of injuries if an explosion or accident occurs — injuries that are not as common in other industries. If you’re involved in a workplace accident that results in injury, the top priority is always to seek immediate medical attention.
Transportation is risky in the oil industry
Many workers in Texas and throughout the United States suffer injury in motor vehicle accidents on the job. As an oil worker, you may be at high risk for this type of injury. Due to the remote locations of most rigs, as well as the fact that vehicles are often loaded with combustible materials, transportation safety should be high on the list when your employer provides training.
Proper machine maintenance is a high priority
On an oil rig, you likely come in contact with heavy machinery, in particular high-pressured systems that may fail or malfunction at any time. One of the most common types of injuries that exist in your line of work occurs if you or another rig worker get between, stuck in or struck by heavy machinery.
If your employer sees to it that those assigned to such jobs are conducting proper machine maintenance and safety checks, you can greatly reduce your risk for on-the-job injuries. Employers can also take precautions, such as by providing workers with brightly colored clothing that contrasts the color of the machines they are working near to make them highly visible to machine operators.
Stay updated on your fire safety skills
Working on an oil rig typically involves exposure to various types of gases. Gases in extraction or drilling equipment are, of course, flammable and can cause severe damage to surrounding areas or people if an explosion occurs. If you’re working in an area where you’ve detected hydrocarbons, the risk increases because static electricity may be enough to ignite a fire.
Fire safety on oil rigs should always include workers wearing flame-resistant clothing. Your employer probably informed you that safety experts also recommend wearing respirators to prevent toxic gas inhalation. If an on-the-job accident occurs that causes you injury, it’s important to obtain immediate medical care and to understand how to navigate the workers’ compensation system.