In last week’s post on trucking in the oil and gas industry, we wrote about Ian Urbina’s piece in the New York Times, which reported that the greatest danger to oil and gas workers isn’t on the oil rig itself but on the highway. And it’s because workers in the oil and gas industry are often allowed to drive, for example, after having worked 17 hours straight.
The legal limit is 14 hours, as Urbina reports, but it’s not just driving while fatigued that’s a problem in this oil boom. It’s also the state of disrepair of the trucks themselves. It’s a case of improper truck maintenance.
Urbina writes that the oil and gas industry “bends the rules.” Here’s an example: In one state, the authorities shared data indicating that 40 percent – an obviously-significant number – of inspected trucks doing oil and gas-related hauls had to be taken out of service because they were in such bad shape.
The condition of the trucks is also likely to blame in truck accidents that are killing innocent motorists and pedestrians and oil workers alike. Some commercial trucking companies are even referred to as “chameleon carriers,” as Urbina reports, because they use shell companies to skirt the rules, even after they’ve been caught and cited.
Source: Deadliest Danger Isn’t at the Rig but on the Road