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Safety first!

Howard-J; Mode-NA; Cullen-ET; Jenkins-M; Conway-GA
Next Gen Oil & Gas 2007 Jan; (180):268732
'Safety First!', Training Makes A Difference!', 'Buckle Up for Safety!' ... we've all seen safety posters like these - and most likely, haven't given them much thought as we walk by them. Safer work sites are not created by better safety posters, however. If we really want to make safety a priority on the work site, we need to make safety part of the culture. The oil and gas industry is facing an interesting challenge. It is no secret that energy prices are rising along with demand. This is good news for the industry, but these increases create a need for more workers and for more drill rigs to produce the needed products. Unfortunately, the statistics show that in addition to higher employment figures, accident rates are also increasing. Almost 100 people died in this industry in both 2005 and in 2004, according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using an estimated US worker population of 310,000, the oil and gas industry has a fatality rate of around 32 per 100,000 workers. This is about the same as coal miners, twice the rate of construction workers, and eight times the national average for all workers. Clearly this number needs to be reduced. A quick look at fatality reports shows us that the single largest category of accidents in which workers are killed, over one third of the total, occurred when they are driving or riding in moving vehicles. Most of the accidents occurred on highways and involved hitting other vehicles or stationary objects, or when their vehicles jack-knifed or overturned. Moving between work sites seems to be a dangerous business, but working on the rigs themselves is just as dangerous. Workers are caught in or struck by the equipment, fall from the platforms, or are injured by explosions. It is no secret that working on oil and gas rigs is risky, but there are things that can be done to reduce the risk and, therefore, the injuries that workers are experiencing.
Traumatic-injuries; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Motor-vehicles; Oil-industry; Oil-refineries; Oil-refinery-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Next Generation Oil & Gas
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division