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.
Welcome to the rig floor, where more oilfield accidents happen than any other location on the drilling rig. Roughnecks on the rig floor are some of the most prone to injury, positioned next to the moving drillstring, using heavy tongs and fast-moving spinning chains, heaving the slips, and working around the rotary table. Here are some of the major hazards roughnecks and floorhands face when on the rig floor.
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.
In the early 1900s, miners carried canary birds into the mines with them as poison testers. At the time, no available instruments could detect carbon monoxide (CO) - a lethal, tasteless, odorless, invisible, flammable gas. However, if the canary stopped singing or perished from CO exposure, miners knew to evacuate. Canaries have since become ingrained in mining culture, even though more sophisticated technology has replaced them as CO detectors. Unfortunately, the same threat of CO in the workplace remains.
Workers in the construction industry face a significant number of on-the-job risks, and understandably so. The nature of construction work is dangerous, and hazards such as falling objects, dangerous machinery and more can cause serious harm. This is far from the full extent of hazards, and these types of workplace accidents are dwarfed by a specific type of risk -- scaffold accidents.
Every year, thousands of construction workers nationwide, including Texas, seek financial assistance through the workers' compensation systems of their states. They work in a hazardous industry, and workplace accidents are almost par for the course. Now, futuristic wearables for different purposes are being developed to prevent many work-related injuries while also focused on increasing profitability and efficiency.
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.
Construction workers in San Antonio and across Texas face an endless list of safety hazards, many of which are life-threatening. Safety authorities say some of the most significant workplace accidents involve bulldozers, cranes, front loaders, excavators, dump trucks and other heavy equipment. It is not only the operators that risk severe injuries, but also those who work around these massive machines.
Forklifts are widely used in many companies throughout Texas and around the country. Whether in manufacturing areas or warehousing units, the machines are invaluable when workers need to lift and move heavy materials. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are inevitable when using forklifts. While most of these incidents involve damaged goods or minor injuries, some can take a deadly turn. A recent accident claimed the life of an employee as he was performing maintenance on a forklift at a plant in another state.