CDC published an analysis of Fatal Injuries
in US-based Oil and Gas Operations — 2003–2010
Americans now consume 22% of the world’s petroleum. The main reason why US-based Oil companies like ExxonMobil and Valero have seen a bump in employment by as much as 18.5%. That is from 106k people in 2017 to 127k in 2018. Unfortunately, based on CDC statistics, 0.0275% or around 27 of these newly employed oil and gas laborers are bound to, for a lack of a better term, a future to be counted in the fatality stat-sheet. That is a rate of 25 deaths per 100,000 workers and this stat does not even include employees acquiring non-fatal injuries, which is a staggering number as well.
Top five causes of fatalities in the oil and gas industry
- Transportation-Related Accidents
- Platform Construction Accidents
- Falls from Elevation
- Contact Injuries
- Refinery Explosions
There are also fatal accidents that are not as well documented or as well known, but are also common. The kinds that employees who have worked in these types of industries, for 5 years or more, who know all too well.
Fatal accidents such as:
- Accidents in confined spaces such as gas pipes, and narrow oil pipes
- Gas leak accidents due to old and corroded safety-valves
- Accidents due to faulty or mismanaged flow and pressure controllers
With all the hazards the oil and gas industry brings, it is not that hard to imagine these poor souls succumbing to their fates. Even more reason why in just a span of 9 years…
1,566 workers perished trying to extract oil in America. The same number of U.S. soldiers that died during the war in Afghanistan
Think about it. Humans have been reliant on oil-based products for almost two centuries now. Mostly for our basic needs like heat and transportation. Also for the use of it as an ingredient for products such as topical skincare and detergents. The fact that the salaries of oil industry workers are consistently high, with now averaging $43,660 annually, we can only expect the oil industry to continue to thrive. This allows a yearly surge of fresh employees entering one of the most hazardous occupations known to humankind.
Yes. OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration – programs have been doing the best to keep oil rigs safety officers vigilant against the plethora of workplace hazards that the oil and gas industry brings. Nevertheless, keeping these oil and gas workers safe is such a herculean task. With three main issues constantly plaguing the OSHA and its Safety Officers namely:
- Constant exposure of workers to hazardous machinery/equipment such as:
- Top and Kely drives
- Hoist blocks
- Belt wheels
- The area is huge and requires traveling long and distances
Employees, as well as the machinery and equipment, are constantly being transported to and from oil-well sites. The result is a daily routine that is following a tight schedule, methodically created by oil-site supervisors and managers. A schedule that if compromised for whatever reason, will cost them potentially tens of thousands of dollars.
This vast space is a breeding ground for all the vehicular accidents. And makes routine expectations from oil field safety officers all the more difficult. In addition, with workers constantly trying to meet the dreaded schedule, this makes it one of the top causes of oil and gas industry-related deaths. And, as of 2019, is the cause of 40% of the oil and gas industries’ fatalities.
- Employees working long hours at a breakneck pace
The result is workers being exhausted both mentally and physically, and this greatly affects their judgments and calculations. Supervisors tried to combat this by giving workers a 3-4 day weekly holiday. In the hopes that the long period of rest days will give them sufficient time to recuperate. Nevertheless, there is a problem with this scheduling architecture. That’s because, in order for this schedule to work, employees need to pull in as much as 12-14 hour shifts. Resulting in thousands of employees working way past their body and mind’s 8hr limit of efficiency.
The supply of petroleum has never superseded the demand in 100 years, and the demand for it is only going to get higher
People will continue to consume oil. The media is trying to persuade us all that oil use is down and the commercials for electric cars promise clean living. It is rudimentary knowledge that people need oil and they need it more than ever. And unfortunately for our oil and gas industry workers, the probability of them falling into this dreaded fatality stat-sheet would only become higher. As this stat-sheet, along with the non-fatal injury stat-sheet, begins to pile up, insurance companies of the oil and gas industry will continue to have field days.
Insurance companies will receive a large number of fake insurance claims.
Their time spotting “Red Flags” such as digging the provider’s contact information will be 7 times more than in other industries.
Not to mention the efficient outlining of the potential hazards of these employees. That takes the cake as one of the toughest aspects for oil and gas insurance companies to accomplish.
The insurance companies that form this infamous industry are the ones that rely on COI Tracking software the most. Having a reliable certificate of insurance tracking software in this industry can be the difference between attending thousands of hours of court proceedings. Or having hundreds of more hours for insurance companies to spare on assessing the risk of employees. While also increasing the efficiency to do so.