June is National Safety Month
This annual observance is spearheaded by the National Safety Council, America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there is risk in nearly every activity. Illness aside, unintentional injuries affect almost 13,000 American workers every day. The goal of National Safety Month is to eliminate the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
As engineers involved in all aspects of the oil & gas industry, safety is critically important at Adley Services. Oil & gas is a highly scrutinized industry when it comes to injuries and fatalities. OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), state agencies, and private institutes all gather data on oilfield accidents. Severe injuries include those that require hospitalization or result in the loss of a body part, major burns suffered in explosions, amputations and bone fractures. Recognizing the top hazards is the first step in preventing incidents. To raise awareness for National Safety Month, we would like to highlight some areas of safety that impact oil & gas workers:
Traffic incidents are the top cause of oil and gas employee deaths. Long and irregular work hours, poor roads, and traveling in inclement weather are factors. A driver safety policy should enforce seat belt use and help drivers deal with distractions, fatigue, poor weather, and varying road conditions. Ensuring that company-owned vehicles are properly maintained can also reduce incidents.
The number two cause of fatalities at oil and gas sites is contact injuries – struck-by, caught-in, or caught-between hazards. Workers must negotiate heavy machinery, pressurized hose lines, cranes, cables, and other standard fixtures at worksites. Placing alarms on vehicles and heavy equipment, whip checks on high-pressure hose lines, and physical barriers can raise awareness and reduce hazards.
Fires and Explosions
Open flames, flammable vapors, idling engines, site lighting, and hot work are some of the fire hazards at oil and gas sites. An explosion or fire can be triggered by static, lightning, tools, hot surfaces, or friction heat. Reduce fire and explosion hazards by monitoring site conditions and installing safeguards.
Storage tanks and containers, mud and reserve pits, and areas around wellheads may meet the criteria for confined space. Employees who perform work in confined spaces should receive training on hazards such as asphyxiation, ignition of flammable vapors, and entrapment.
Falls from Elevation
The National Institute of Health conducted a study of fatal falls among derrick-men. The study found that most falls were from more than 30 feet, and most victims did not use appropriate fall protection. Among those wearing a harness, fatalities occurred because the harness was not connected to an anchor point. Proper training and supervision are critical in preventing needless falls.
At Adley, safety is more than our policy; it is our mindset. We know our customers and employees have families and loved ones. From the office to the platforms, our goal is to make sure everyone makes it home safely every day.