How accidents in the oil field differ from typical injuries

Extreme sources of energy in oil fields increase the likelihood of electric shock.

Working in an oil field brings a variety of dangerous experiences, many of which can lead to debilitating injuries. If someone works in an oil field, there is a real chance that they will be injured. Frequent oil field injuries often differ from injury cases in other occupations because of their severity.

Causes of frequent oil field violations

Working in an oil field is a far more dangerous job than the average person. Because of the hazardous working environment in an oil field, many injuries can cause more serious consequences, and possibly death.

Fires and explosions

Oilfield workers regularly work with fire and explosion hazards. Wells, tanks and heavy trucks can release flammable gases and increase the risk of ignition. If open flames, static electricity, friction, and other sources of electricity ignite, the consequences can be disastrous. Burns from these types of accidents are more common in oil fields. While some burns can be minor, others can cause permanent damage and disfigurement to the victims.

Well malfunction

If pressure systems in crude oil wells fail, it can lead to an uncontrollable spillage of crude oil or the release of natural gas. Mixing with sparks, friction or an open flame can cause a devastating fire. Surface breakouts can cause dirt, mud, oil, and stones to shoot out of the well and injure the crew above. Modern pressure control systems prevent such accidents. However, despite the implementation of these systems, wellbore breakouts continue to occur.

Toxic exposure

When you work in an oil field, you run the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. Some chemicals are naturally toxic. Others become toxic when mixed with other chemicals that are regularly found in oil fields. All workers should be adequately trained and protected from harmful exposure to these chemicals.

Chemical contact can be from the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the waste from drilling. Many injuries caused by chemical exposure can take some time to manifest after the damage has already occurred. Diagnosing toxic exposure can take years.

Electric shock

Image by Waldemar Brandt via Unsplash.com.

Extreme sources of energy in oil fields increase the likelihood of electric shock. Electric shocks occur in an oilfield breach for a number of reasons, including:

  • Improper use of machines and devices,
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Failure to apply adequate protective measures and
  • Inadequate training.

Electric shock injuries can result in severe burns and permanent tissue damage. Workers in such accidents can also be subjected to amputations or traumatic brain injuries.

Burn injuries

A common way that oilfield workers suffer work-related injuries occurs in the form of burn injuries. If a worker touches a defective device, comes into contact with damaged electrical equipment, or makes a mistake while working, fires and explosions can occur. Any form of chemical explosion or exposed power lines creates hazardous situations. These events occur quickly, leaving no time for workers to get to safety before suffering catastrophic burns. A severe burn often leaves a person changed forever. First and second degree burns can lead to minor injuries. However, third and fourth degree burns cause permanent problems that can last a lifetime. Reduced mobility and, in some cases, amputation can occur. In addition, disfigurement can lead to significant emotional distress for the victim and family members.

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