Ask Texas oil workers and you'll hear it from them: hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the bogeyman in drilling. More than just offensive to the nostrils with its rotten-egg odor, hydrogen sulfide is extremely toxic, highly flammable, and very corrosive to metal. Sadly, it also causes permanent debilitation and fatalities in the oilfields every year.
In January of 2018, a surge of gas ignited and caused an oilfield fire that killed five men on a drilling rig near Quinton, Oklahoma. A following lawsuit alleged the deadly blowout was preventable: Red Mountain Energy, the owner and operator of the well, used a lighter drilling mud than recommended by experts. Why the cheaper mud? It was chosen to impress investors with cut costs.
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.
Beneath the crisscrossing latticework of an oil derrick, the threat of catastrophic well failure always looms. Perhaps the most feared of all oilfield accidents is the unanticipated well blowout, which can have catastrophic, deadly consequences.
On a 100-degree Texas afternoon, oilfield workers prepare a derrick for normal drilling operation. Few average people consider that they are digging up matter that could someday become neon nail polish, refined jet fuel, or a plastic storage bin. Even fewer average people consider what oilfield workers face when an oilfield accident happens on the rig, resulting in catastrophic injury or even wrongful death.
Fatal and injurious oilfield accidents in Texas are all too common. In fact, the oil and gas industry has some of the highest rates of work-related accidents. Big oil companies and lobbies like the American Petroleum Institute (API) dispute the federal statistics, asserting that the industry has low rates of injury compared to other occupations.
For motorists and workers, road construction zones are perilous places. The state of Texas constantly builds, repairs, and maintains roads. However, construction zones have higher accident rates. For example, Waco law enforcement has already reported accident rate upticks along an I-35 construction project . Yesterday in Dallas, a van flipped in a construction zone, killing one worker and injuring another . Although there are precautions motorists should take and guidelines construction entities must follow to make them as safe as possible, construction zones are still dangerous.
Getting behind the wheel for the first time may feel invigorating, but it comes with enormous risk. Young drivers make up a significant percentage of traffic accident fatalities. Fledgling drivers are already some of the most vulnerable on the road due to their relative inexperience, but other endangering habits and factors can intensify that lack of experience. Consequently, teens and young adults are some of the most susceptible to fatal crashes.