Risk Assessment in the Oil Fields

There are a lot of potential hazards when people work the oil fields. In fact, the number of fatalities and catastrophic injuries in oil fields has been on the rise in recent years. The majority of these situations occur on the job from motor vehicle accidents, falls, slips, trips, strains, or being hit by another vehicle or piece of moving equipment. These are the most common situations that cause death or injury to a worker. On average, the drivers, general laborers, floorhands, roustabouts and derrickmen are the ones most at risk of enduring these harsh conditions. There are other hazards in an oil field related to the chemicals and hot outdoor conditions. For example, oil workers are known for working long hours with no opportunity to see their family for weeks on end. This alone can take a physical and psychological toll on the worker.

There are a great number of risk factors that may be discovered from the risk assessment of an oil field operation. For starters, the on-the-job training needs to be sufficient enough to make the worker knowledgeable about their position on the field. Often times, the new workers will go through an inadequate orientation with little monitored job training. This means that no mentors are watching over the new workers to make sure they don’t make a mistake. Other risk factors of the workers include distracted drivers, taking shortcuts, worker fatigue, extended shifts, worker turnover, and drug & alcohol abuse. These problems tend to happen a lot with the younger inexperienced workers who are trying to get ahead quickly. In order to prevent these problems, there needs to be more emphasis on safety in the oil fields.

One of the best ways in reducing risk and increasing safety on the oil fields is to give each oil worker a self assessment test. This test will allow workers to answer questions about the level of risk they experience on the job. The test will be totally anonymous, so no one will get in trouble for answering in a particular way. It will just give the employer a chance to understand where the risks are, so they can take measures in making them safer for their workers. Once this is done, the productivity on the field is bound to increase while the amount of serious accidents will decrease. That way the employers are happy and the employees feel safer going to work every day.


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