Common safety concerns for Oklahoma oil and gas companies

Oil and gas industry leaders and company owners will do well to learn and prepare for common safety concerns to head off preventable accidents.

Because oil and gas is such a dangerous industry, company owners, producers, operators and landowners should make themselves well aware of the common hazards employees face. By getting well ahead of a disaster, those working in Oklahoma's gas and oil industry can better design their business contracts, create safe work sites and potentially avoid unnecessary lawsuits and employee injuries.

Caught-in/Struck-by/Caught-between

Standing equipment, falling equipment, moving vehicles and high-pressure lines all have the potential to lead to struck-by/caught-in/caught-between accidents on oil and gas sites. Site managers, supervisors, employees and all related site personnel should be made aware of the latest OSHA regulations, recommendations and standards to better prevent accidents.

Vehicle accidents

Vehicles are used to travel to work sites, gas stations and pump lines. Unfortunately, more than a few fatalities can result from vehicle accidents. Drivers and passengers alike have to worry about more than the standard driving hazards, such as inclement weather and distracted driving. Heavy loads, heavy lifting, fatigue and dangerous working environments can all contribute to deaths and accidents.

Slips and falls

A common safety concern in various areas of employment, slips and falls happen on oil and gas sites as well. Employees may have to climb up to equipment and platforms. Besides fall protection, oil and gas worksites should also use tread tape on wet floors, elevated platforms and slippery surfaces to better prevent injuries.

Explosions and fires

When oil and/or gas is involved, there is always the potential for a fire or explosion. Fires can break out on drilling sites, which means sites need escape routes, fire prevention plans and emergency action plans. What is more is that employees need to be aware of fire and explosion prevention methods. Additionally, workers should wear flame-resistant clothing and know the proper place and method for storing combustible liquids.

Chemical exposure

Speaking of combustible liquids, common chemical exposure risks in the oil and gas industry include:

● Dermal exposures

● Various exposure routes, such as ingestion and inhalation

● Mixed exposures

It is also not uncommon for workers to experience take-home exposure and transfer risks. Such risks can put family members and others at risk. With that in mind, there needs to be an attempt to identify, characterize and control workplace chemical exposure and the pollution risks/claims that may come with such types of exposure to workers and others.

Having a full picture of the most prevalent risks and hazards in the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma can go a long way in providing leaders with peace of mind. Should companies, landowners, producers and the like ever find themselves involved in legal matters, turning to a legal expert with a background in the industry is an undoubtedly great idea.