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Common Oilfield Safety Violations Capable of Causing Accidents

Posted on June 25, 2024 in

A fire or an explosion. Threats from chemicals in the air or on surfaces. Unimaginable noise inside of confined working places and exposure to heat. Fall risks.

These are just some of the hazards oil field employees and contractors face daily. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common oil field safety violations that lead to injury-causing or fatal accidents in the industry.

1. Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment is perhaps the most important aspect of protecting workers from numerous hazards, including falling equipment, high-pressure lines, and exposure to toxic substances. Employers must provide appropriate PPE, such as hard hats, flame-resistant clothing, and respirators, at no cost to workers. However, violations often occur when companies fail to supply adequate or properly fitting equipment​.

2. Electrical Safety Violations

Electrical hazards are prevalent in oil fields due to the extensive use of heavy machinery and electronic equipment. Common violations include improper wiring methods, inadequate grounding, and failure to adhere to lockout/tagout procedures. These lapses can lead to electric shocks, burns, and even explosions.

3. Fall Protection Failures

Falls are a leading cause of fatalities in the oil and gas industry. Workers often operate at significant heights on drilling platforms and masts. Proper fall protection (which can include guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems) is mandated by OSHA. Unfortunately, many accidents occur due to inadequate or absent fall protection measures​.

4. Unsafe Confined Spaces

Confined spaces, such as storage tanks and pits, pose significant risks of asphyxiation, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and entrapment. OSHA requires these spaces to be classified as permit-required confined spaces, thoroughly tested before entry, and continuously monitored. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe injuries or fatalities​.

5. Hazardous Materials Handling

Handling hazardous materials, including flammable gases and toxic chemicals, is a routine part of oil field operations. Proper storage, labeling, and communication about these substances are critical. Violations, such as improper storage or failure to inform workers about potential hazards, can lead to fires, explosions, and health issues​.

6. Inadequate Training and Procedures

Insufficient training is a significant factor contributing to oil field accidents. Workers must be adequately trained in operating procedures, hazard recognition, and emergency response. Companies often violate OSHA standards by not providing comprehensive training, which increases the risk of accidents​

7. Poor Maintenance of Equipment

Equipment failure is another common cause of accidents. Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial to ensure that machinery operates safely. Violations occur when companies neglect these responsibilities, leading to equipment malfunctions and dangerous working conditions.

You May Need an Attorney

Oil field safety violations are serious issues that can lead to catastrophic accidents. It is imperative for companies to adhere to OSHA regulations and ensure that safety protocols are strictly followed. For oil field workers who suffer injuries due to these violations, compensation may be available through a work injury claim or an oil refinery explosion lawsuit. You may need assistance from a skilled foil field accident lawyer in Texas. You can get a hold of us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling (800) 349-0000 today.