Careers in oil and gas are part of what drives the economy in Texas. Natural wealth under the ground brings professionals from all over the country to help extract and process those resources.
Oil and gas workers frequently command premium wages because of the demand for their labor and the level of risk involved. Every industry has dangers on the job, but oil and gas jobs can be particularly risky work for modern professionals. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) carefully monitors injuries and fatalities in the workplace and tracks top causes of incidents.
The data they collect can help lawmakers implement better workplace safety rules and can help employees avoid or minimize their biggest risks on the job. What are the top causes of oil and gas extraction injuries according to OSHA?
Motor vehicles play an important role in oil and gas extraction. They get workers out to remote drilling sites, transport heavy machinery and help move natural resources. They are also the number one cause of injury and fatal accidents for oil and gas workers. Getting out to the job site or transporting resources back at the end of the day could be when you have the most risk of getting seriously hurt on the job.
Struck-by, caught-in and caught-between incidents
Sometimes, a worker can snag a piece of clothing on machinery and get hurt. Other times, they could be down in a trench or hole when the wall caves in, potentially leading to severe or fatal injuries. When workers get caught in equipment or machinery, struck by moving objects or trapped between two objects, they can suffer catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries.
Explosions and fires
Obviously, oil and gas products are highly flammable, as are some of the chemicals used for refining and the fumes produced during extraction. Whether there is a fire or a sudden explosion, workers can suffer injuries ranging from severe burns to traumatic brain injuries caused by the percussive force of the explosion.
Falls are an issue in any industry and are of serious concern for those working in oil and gas extraction. Individuals helping to install or maintain the tall and heavy equipment used to pump oil and gas from the ground could fall if not properly secured. Falls can lead to both severe, career-ending injuries and to death.
Learning the top risks in the oil and gas industries can help employees avoid injury and understand when to take action because they get hurt on the job.