Although an extremely lucrative and well established sector, workers in the oil and gas sectors are subjected to a number of health and safety threats. The particles which are released when drilling and extraction operations are carried out are combustible, hazardous, damaging, and irritating. Furthermore, workers use heavy and powerful tools to perform tasks under extremely high pressure. If these tools are not used with care and caution, injuries and accidents can occur.
It has been reported that a total of 1,189 deaths occurred in oil and gas industries located in the United States from 2003 till 2015. To prevent deaths, falls, wounds, bruises, mishaps, and to create a safe and secure environment, workers are required to wear PPE (personal protection equipment). Moreover, they are required to complete a comprehensive and detailed training program whilst also strictly observing safety regulations. In the paragraphs below, we have discussed the safety products workers should use while working in the oil and gas industry in order to ensure their safety and well-being.
It is integral for workers to wear protective equipment which shields their bodies from lethal and harmful chemicals. This includes protective equipment for workers’ hands, eyes, head, face, along with their body and respiratory system. When subjected to toxic gases and liquids, impermeable glasses ought to be worn. Safety glasses with side shields are worn to protect personnel against flying objects.
Additionally, filtered helmets are worn while welding to protect workers against harmful radiation and glare. Head protection becomes necessary for workers when they are in the presence of falling objects or electrical hazards. For this purpose, Claas E and Class G hard helmets are worn. Class E hard helmets shield workers for up to 20,000 volts of electricity. On the other hand, Class G hard helmets can only provide protection for approximately 2,200 volts of electricity. Thick work gloves made out of an insulated material are worn when for a number of reasons.
For one, they prevent hands from getting dirty and greasy. They provide protection against hazardous chemicals and toxins along with shielding workers against extremely low temperatures. Moreover, wearing gloves prevents the likelihood of injuries, abrasions, and cuts. These gloves can be made from canvas, leather, vinyl, neoprene, or nitryl.
It is also essential for workers to wear safety boots. These boots can be made from neoprene, nitrile, or they may be made of insulated rubber. Boots made of neoprene and nitrile prevent workers from being harmed by hazardous chemicals, whereas insulated rubber boots shield workers against electrical shock. It is also necessary for workers to ensure that their boots have a firm grip, allowing them to move freely and easily.
It is likely that workers in the oil and field gas sectors are in the presence of chemicals and toxins which can result in respiratory diseases. As a result, wearing respiratory PPE (personal protective equipment) becomes necessary. Thus, personnel are required to wear a respirator.
However, before wearing a respirator, workers are required to undergo a medical examination to make certain that they are capable of wearing a respirator. There are two major types of respirators: air purifying respirators and atmosphere purifying purifiers. Air- purifying respirators are tasked with eliminating hazardous chemicals from the air with the help of cartridges, filters, and canisters.
On the other hand, atmosphere supplying respirators can directly provide users with fresh air with the aid of a clean supply of air. Workers and personnel ought to wear brightly colored jackets, overall, shirts, vests, and pants to ensure that they remain easily visible. Moreover, their clothing should be fire retardant because workers are continuously subjected to extremely combustible hydrocarbons.
In conclusion, it is essential for workers to wear personal protection equipment while carrying out their duties in the oil and gas sector, which is among the world’s most harmful, hazardous, and dangerous industries. This is due in part to atmospheric hydrocarbons which have resulted in multiple fires erupting in oil and gas fields. Furthermore, hazardous chemicals can cause permanent and irreversible respiratory damage and skin diseases. Thus, to ensure their wellbeing and safety, workers must wear safety gloves, boots, helmets, and protective eyewear.