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Each oil field worker's own precautions may prevent job injury

Workers in the oil and gas industry in North Dakota and other states face numerous safety hazards. Every employee's best chance at avoiding job injury is by taking extra precautions to ensure personal safety. Struck-by incidents cause some of the most common injuries on oil patches. These occur when a piece of equipment or other object makes forceful contact with a worker. Sling malfunctions, pressurized lines that are not adequately secured and bad connections are typical causes of struck-by accidents in the oilfields.

On-site vehicle accidents are also sources of significant concern because they lead to many serious injuries and even fatalities. The manners in which every employee can protect him or herself include compliance with all guidelines and safety regulations. Driving in excess of allowed limits can cause fatigue-related accidents and so can mobile phone distractions. Cell phone use while driving on the oil patch should be restricted to emergency use.

Burns during welding operations are frequently caused by the failure to wear the appropriate protective equipment. Such injuries are easily avoidable by compliance with PPE regulations and by ensuring safe spaces between workers. Chemical hazards are also to be carefully watched. Compliance with storage and usage instruction on each type of chemical can prevent chemical burns, and spillages must be cleaned immediately.

The North Dakota workers' compensation insurance program offers financial assistance for any victim of a job injury. The injured oil field worker must report an injury to his or her employer immediately. Medical reports and bills must accompany the claim that he or she files for insurance benefits. Medical expenses are typically paid directly, and income replacement for temporary disability usually start within days after the injury.

Source:, "Preventing Common Oil & Gas Injuries", Richard Perkins, Accessed on Sept. 1, 2017

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