Officials at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are currently conducting a groundbreaking study, focusing on the causes of oil field accidents and injuries. As the largest study of its kind to date, this investigation involves a survey of roughly 500 oil field workers, including truck drivers on oil fields, to examine the factors that most commonly contribute to oil field hazards. The goal is to devise recommendations to mitigate and prevent these factors and hazards in order to improve oil field worker safety.
Commenting on the importance of this study, Kyla Retzer, an epidemiologist with NIOSH’s oil and gas program, has noted that:
This is a high-hazard industry, and different states have different levels of maturity when it comes to safety and health for [the oil field] workforce… Sometimes, health and safety is not a top priority…[Safety officials] haven’t had a lot of opportunities to talk to workers directly. We want to better understand what their concerns are and how we can address them.
More on the NIOSH Oil Field Study
With permission to request surveys at man camps (where oil field workers live), truck depots and other facilities, NIOSH officials are surveying oil field workers about issues that include (but are by no means exclusive to):
- The number of hours worked in an average day and week
- Whether workers wear protective gear
- Whether they are provided with safety policies, procedures and/or training from employers
- Whether they are informed of their right to stop working when possible safety hazards are recognized
- Whether they are paid by the hour or the load (for truckers)
- Whether their employers require them to drive in adverse weather (for truckers).
This survey will reportedly be wrapped up by the beginning of 2017, with results expected to be published in reputable health and safety journals. NIOSH officials also reported intend to share their findings and recommendations with federal regulators at OSHA, with the hope of improving the overall safety of oil and gas field workers.
Dangers of Oil Fields: Risks Workers Face
As officials continue to investigate the factors that contribute to the most prominent dangers at oil fields, the following are some of the specific risks oil field workers commonly face:
- Falling hazards
- Crushing hazards
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Explosions and fires
- Gas leaks
- Deck collapses.
While worker inexperience can contribute to such hazards, so too can long work days, minimal training and safety gear, and other factors, some of which may be brought to light by the ongoing NIOSH study.
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Contact a Mount Vernon Workers Compensation Lawyer at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job or has been diagnosed with an occupational disease, a trusted Mount Vernon workers compensation lawyer at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. is here for you, ready to stand up for your rights.
To learn more about your options for financial recovery following an oil field or work accident, contact us by calling (888) 896-9381 or by emailing us using the form on this page. We can provide you with a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.