You - standing in fire-retardant overalls with steel-toed boots, gloves, eye protection, a hard hat, and a shovel - listen carefully on your first day as the manager explains your job and watch as some seasoned guys demonstrate: is that training? Not by authoritative standards.
Danger in the oilfields doesn't start when the drillbit hits the dirt. Hazards arrive on the well pad as soon as the set-up crews do.
The pop-off valve might not receive the same recognition as the battered hard hat, the treaded rubber boot, or the leather work glove, but it is still one of the most important pieces of safety equipment in the oil and gas industry. Also called a "pressure relief valve," it saves pipes and, most importantly, oil and gas workers' lives. Pipelines under too much pressure practically become underground bombs, but this device counters the kaboom by acting like an automatic diffuser.
The oil and gas industry has long been the cornerstone of the Texas economy. If you have worked in this industry all your life, it is possible that your parents and grandparents also had jobs related to energy. It is also quite likely that you or someone you know has suffered an injury on the job.
Two workers suffered injuries on October 17 in an oil field explosion at the Ledwig Ranch between Millet and Dilley, Texas. By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, several oil tanks at the site were engulfed in flames.
You wear safety goggles at work because you know the dangers of the chemicals you work with and the consequences of getting those substances in your eyes. However, in one split second, the chemicals were in your face, and your eyes began to burn. Thankfully, your job site has an eye wash station where co-workers helped you rinse your eyes until help arrived.
As a resident of Texas, you know that rich deposits of oil and gas exist in certain regions. In fact, in recent years, the state has seen a surge in drilling, which creates jobs. Unfortunately, along with an increase in various job opportunities in the oil and gas extraction business, there also appears to be an increase in fatal work accidents, many involving negligence or defective equipment.
On November 15, 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced big news: the Wolfcamp shale field in the Midland portion of Texas' Permian Basin is the largest continuous oil accumulation ever found in the U.S. Containing 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, Wolfcamp contains nearly three times the amount of recoverable resources than that contained in the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks assessment.
A train that was hauling millions of pounds of oil from North Dakota to Virginia derailed on Monday, resulting in evacuations and oil leaking into a nearby river.
Texas leads the nation in large vehicle accidents, according to the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The state actually surpassed California's number. Though Texas saw a reduction in the number of car accidents, it has since risen to lead the country. But why the rise? There are studies that show a distinct correlation between the rise of traffic accidents involving commercial trucks and the fracking boom that started in 2008. The increase in fracking sites caused an increase in the number of trucks that occupied Texas highways, leading to more opportunities of a crash.