Despite all the advances in green energy, oil and gas still make the world go round. In fact, global demand for oil is nearly 100 million barrels per day.
With such a high demand for oil and gas, there are naturally many jobs available in this industry. However, the professional opportunities are accompanied by significant risk. The fatality rate was 7 times higher in oil and gas than all other industries in the time period from 2003 to 2010.
Learning about some of these risks will help you prepare for a job in the oil and gas industry. Read on to explore the top 5 biggest risks facing the oil and gas industry today.
1. Employees in the Oil and Gas Industry are Exposed to Drilling Fluids
One of the great threats to oil and gas employees are the hazards they are exposed to. Drilling fluids are one of many potentially dangerous inhalable toxins. There are a number of mild symptoms related to drilling fluids exposure. These symptoms include dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Most of these are brushed off as just a hazard of the job, but these toxins can adversely affect job performance. Serious complications such as respiratory illness being one of the most common. Some studies suggest a link between aromatic compounds in oil mists and cancer.
2. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Exposure
This is one of the most lethal risks that face an oil and gas employee. Hydrogen sulfide is found in oil and gas deposits. Specific to the industry, H2S leaks are possible at refineries, wells, and pipelines. This toxin has no color and smells like rotten eggs. If protective equipment is not being worn, employees could pass out and die within minutes. Keeping up to date on safety equipment with an experienced safety manager can help mitigate airborne risks easily.
3. Transportation Risks
While there are many hazardous compounds in the air, conventional risks are common as well. In fact, the leading cause of death in the industry is transportation-related. In the 12-year period from 2003 to 2015, there were nearly 480 deaths attributed to transportation. Many of these deaths are offsite and due to highway vehicle accidents. Commercial auto coverages are a huge part of the oil and gas industry because of the need to transport materials, grade roads to oil wells, and get workers to sites safely.
4. Fires and Explosions
Obviously, oil and gas are highly flammable. As a result, oil and gas employees are vulnerable to serious injury and potential death. Fires make up the biggest risk in size, but aren't as common because of rising safety standards. However, when fires and explosions do happen, they are a catastrophe to deal with. Over 14 percent of fatalities in the industry are attributed to fires and explosion. This figure does not take into consideration the survivors with debilitating and life-altering injuries. These accidents affect businesses for years into the future. Minimizing them should be a priority.
5. Other Accident Statistics
- Another serious risk is contact injuries and falls. Contact injuries are when equipment or objects fall on or crush an employee. These are actually the most common accidents.
- After transportation, contact injuries are the second-leading cause of death in the industry. They account for nearly 26 percent of fatalities.
- Falls make up another 8 percent. Between contact injuries and falls, there were nearly 400 deaths in the period from 2003 to 2015.
There are threats almost everywhere in the oil and gas industry. Protecting your business is our top priority. If you are interested in oil and gas insurance to protect against these risks, please contact us to get more information or fill out the short form below.