Essential Safety Programs for Oil and Gas Workers

Updated on August 27, 2023

The oil and gas industry has one of the highest fatality rates of all the trades in the U.S. However, companies can reduce worker injuries and costly claims by adhering to simple safety rules. Read on for an overview of some of the most important industry practices to know.

Implement and Maintain Lockout/Tagout Protocols

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires numerous safety protocols, but one of the most important for energy companies is lockout/tagout, often shortened as LOTO. This protocol requires employees to deactivate equipment, secure it with a lock and leave a tag on the lock with a warning and contact information. LOTO is a crucial part of preempting dangerous situations, including unexpected equipment restarts, hazardous energy discharges, and unauthorized access to equipment.

Your company should frequently review LOTO protocols with any employees responsible for implementing them, and provide danger lockout tags for their use on-site. Check in with employees routinely to make sure that the contact information provided on their tags is current so that they can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Promote a Culture of Workplace Safety

With millions of dollars of energy products moving through pipelines and across highways every second, workers have a strong incentive to ignore fatigue, skip breaks, and push through any obstacle to get the job done. Unfortunately, when working with heavy equipment and flammable materials, a single moment of inattention can be destructive to equipment and lethal for employees.

It’s up to safety program coordinators to foster an environment where workers are reminded that their best work happens when they’re healthy and well-rested and that shortcuts can lead to both extra repair work down the line and serious personal danger. A strong culture of workplace safety should encourage employees to:

  • Feel a sense of personal responsibility for safety protocols
  • Take a minimum amount of downtime between shifts to ensure adequate alertness
  • Seek medical care for injury or illness whenever necessary

Track Fleet Vehicle Usage

Oil and gas projects often require workers to travel extensively. This is true even for those who aren’t personally involved with transporting energy products via tanker trucks, such as site startup personnel. Your company should make it a priority to install an in-vehicle monitoring system in every automobile in the company fleet, from 18-wheelers to pickup trucks and vans. Automobile accidents are the number-one cause of work-related deaths in the U.S., and the energy industry is no exception.

Accidents can happen due to fatigue from long shifts or poor driving habits, and IVMS can help companies detect both. IVMS can flag erratic or aggressive driving patterns so that safety coordinators can respond to them, which reduces accident rates, improves worker safety, and lowers insurance costs.

The oil and natural gas industry keep the U.S. economy running, but it’s good safety practices that ensure energy producers are operating at peak efficiency. Reviewing critical safety procedures like these will allow your company to avoid costly injury claims and scheduling delays, keeping energy flowing while keeping workers safe.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.