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5 Tips For Improving Safety In The Oil And Gas Industry

...Tomiwa Oladipo Published August 2022

The oil and gas industry falls within the category of a high-risk working environment. With a fatality rate seven times higher than other industries, being an oil and gas worker is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. 

According to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP's) report, the number of fatalities in the oil and gas industry increased from 14 in 2020 to 20 in 2021. The 20 deaths occurred in 15 separate incidents.

This begs the question, how can companies adhere to safety procedures in the oil and gas industry?


Causes of Fatalities in the Oil and Gas Industry

 'Caught in, under, or between' incident (excluding falling objects incident) and ‘assault or violent act’ each account for 30% of the fatality rates in 2021, according to the IOGP’s report.

‘Caught in, between or under’ incidents led to 6 fatalities in 6 separate incidents, while 'assault or violent act' led to 6 deaths in 1 incident. 

‘'Falls from height' incident led to 4 fatalities in 4 separate incidents, and two fatalities occurred in 2 separate incidents, categorized as 'struck by (not dropped object)' incidents.

The last two fatalities were under the 'water-related, drowning' and 'exposure electrical' incidents (one fatality each).

The oil and gas industry must do all it can to ensure oilfield safety is constantly maintained at the highest standards possible and prevent the trauma and stress associated with fatalities and injuries which constantly threatens its reputation. 

Besides, the industry currently witnessing a critical situation of chronic oil and gas workers shortage really cannot afford to lose any skilled worker..

Related Post: Addressing Skilled Trades Gap in the Oil and Gas Sector

And from a commercial perspective, oil and gas industry accidents are costly. The IOGP's report revealed that companies participating in the study lost 23,120 working days to injuries.


How to Improve Safety in the Oil and Gas Industry

Employers need to mitigate the number of injuries and fatalities in the industry through regular safety training for workers and adherence to safety procedures in the oil and gas industry.

But how can they achieve this? The following five safety tips will help.


5 Tips to Improve Safety Culture in the Industry 

1. Collaborate with local emergency response services

Build relationships with local emergency response services to foster better communication and safety. Company health and safety professionals, rig hands, and emergency responders must work together better to utilize their resources to handle emergencies quickly and effectively.

2. Ensure Familiarity with the Workplace

Regular oil and gas industry safety training will help workers recognize hazards and understand their role in taking necessary safety precautions. This will also allow workers to memorize procedures and hazards in the workplace.

3. Pay attention to housekeeping

Keep floors, pathways, and work areas clear of unnecessary items to prevent trips and falls, and struck-by hazards. 

Use labeling and color codes to direct, warn, and communicate information to workers. 

Implement clear signage that directs workers to emergency and safety equipment.

Also, analyze health and safety data regularly to recognize and understand potential risk locations.

4. Conduct regular machine maintenance

On offshore rigs, the health and safety of all personnel depend on machines. Ensure you regularly conduct all necessary checks to ensure the safety and proper functioning of all equipment, as negligence could have grave consequences. 

5. Monitor Workers’ Mental Health

Poorly managed workplace culture can negatively impact workers’ safety. 

Foster trust and a sense of community among workers to make it easier for them to obey rules, admit mistakes, ask for help, and seek advice when necessary. 

Workers' mental health can also determine how they respond to safety and emergencies. 


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