Oilfields have never been easy places to work in. Whether it was the 1980 capsizing of Alexander L. Kielland, a semi-submersible platform, which resulted in 123 deaths, or the 1988 oil rig disaster that ended the lives of 167 people, history is rife with such incidents.
But that isn’t to say that you can’t ensure the safety of workers on your oil rig.
You just have to know what procedures you need to follow and what, in particular, you need to look out for. And this goes beyond mere safety tips. Workplace safety as a whole needs to be considered.
1. Hand Protection
Most workplace injuries—including those in oilfields and other heavy industries—are caused because employees wear the wrong kind of hand protection. This is, in many cases, due to workers’ own negligence. When they feel that the gloves get in the way of work that requires nimble hands, they are wont to remove them.
Protection and comfort, however, can go together, thanks to advancing tech. Make sure you’re getting the right kind of gloves for your employees, because there are many out there to choose from.
2. Knowledge of the Worksite
Knowledge, as they say, is power. And in this case, life-saving power. Being familiar with the worksite—the location of essential equipment, its functions, and dangers—is important.
All of this information is crucial for avoiding hazards, from minor ones to fatal calamities. Not only does this keep your employees safe, but it also safeguards the field from potential large-scale hazards that are triggered by minor accidents.
Make sure you’re educating your employees about the workplace and are also making them familiar with the potential risks involved.
3. Be Careful With the Tools!
Of course, an oilfield can’t operate without the appropriate tools—trash pump parts and weight indicator systems, pressure gauges and sensors—but hey, #notalltools. Tools such as adjustable wrenches have a tendency to slip and fall, and can land right on the head of your workers, costing you dearly. Using the right tools is essential, but ensuring that the tools you’re using aren’t a risk is even more so. So choose your tools carefully!
4. Ban all Jewellery!
An oilfield is no place to look fancy, and numerous deaths are caused each year because an employee wore their favourite necklace to work.
These trinkets can easily get caught in the heavy equipment, pulling the employee right with them—you can well imagine that the aftermath looks like something out of a SAW movie.
Since you can’t possibly police every employee, all the time, every day, the wisest thing to do is to ban all jewellery. The choice between a shiny ring and a safe rig shouldn’t be too hard.