If you work in the oil and gas industry, you know that the hazards you and your fellow workers face every time you are on the job are numerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, between 2003 and 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers
were killed on the job—a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all other U.S. industries. 120 of those fatalities
occurred in a single year (2008). We want that number to be zero.
Wearing the appropriate PPE can mean the difference between remaining safe and sustaining serious injury that could lead to death.
Chemicals and Other Liquids
Whether you’re collecting mud samples from shakers, opening pipelines, drawing water off tanks, handling sludge, treating wells, cleaning equipment parts, sampling and analyzing oil, or working in a lab, you’re coming into constant contact with chemicals and other liquids that pose various health risks. If a workplace has unsafe atmospheric conditions
, employers must provide employees with respirators so that they aren’t breathing in the chemicals.
Burns are also possible. Working around acids, additives, corrosives, solvents and wastewater puts you in direct contact with toxic substances, such as citric and HCI acids, ammonia, benzene, hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulfide. This gas occurs naturally in oil and gas. You will need chemical gloves, a face shield, and goggles when handling chemicals and opening pressurized systems.
N2658HVO offers both chemical and impact protection.
A few of our products that you might want to consider if you work around chemicals:
Crush, Impact and Abrasive Injuries
There are so many moving parts in the oil and gas industry, and most of them are heavy and can move quickly. It’s easy to be struck, pinched and banged in such environments.
Maybe you’re repairing equipment, moving tools, unloading materials, assembling and disassembling drilling pipes, working with heavy spinning chains, lifting gear with chain hoists, operating a sledge hammer, or otherwise working around equipment and loads that swing, or have motor-operated valves.
MU3634K holding a striking wrench offers Level 1 resistance
56% of all recordable oil &gGas incidents in 2014 were attributed to workers being "struck by" and "caught between” objects. Hand and finger injuries are common in the oil and gas industry and can account for nearly 50 percent of incidents, though this number can climb as high as 80%! In 2015, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) reported the greatest number of injuries sustained by workers on land affected their hands and fingers, accounting for nearly 38% of all reported incidents.
Cutting and Welding
The metal components you’re welding may have jagged and sharp edges, and you’re working with high heat from a flame or electricity. Burns and shocks are common risks. Exposure to radiation is also possible, along with respiratory-related illnesses and conditions. Welding is a leading cause of worker exposure to hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)
], one of the valence states of chromium, a known carcinogen that also can affect the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes.
Welding a structural foundation wearing MCR Safety's 4300
Cutting any objects raises the risk of cutting your hands with the equipment you’re using, or getting cut by the material you’re cutting. According to 2014 statistics, hand and finger injuries comprised 43% of all recordable incidents on drilling rigs, a slight increase over 2013 (41%) and 2012 (40%).
We also offer a number of welding glove
s that are perfect for different applications.
Dust is virtually inescapable, especially if you are doing heavy construction work, operating or performing maintenance on machines, or loading and unloading material.
Silica is the basic component of sand and rock, meaning silica dust exposure is common during hydraulic fracturing operations. Hydraulic Fracturing involves pumping large volumes of water and sand into rock allowing oil and gas to flow into a designated well. The process involves transporting silica sand into and through sand movers, releasing dusts into the air.
Worker delivering sand from sand mover
OSHA has classified crystalline silica
as a lung carcinogen. Breathing it in can cause silicosis, which can be disabling or fatal: once in the lungs, crystalline silica causes the development and build up of scar tissue, which inhibits the lungs’ ability to function properly. Conveyor sand, operating engines and motors are all concerns for getting dust in your eyes, causing irritation.
NIOSH lists seven primary sources of silica dust exposure:
- Dust ejected from thief hatches (access ports) on top of the sand movers during refilling operations while the machines are running (hot loading);Dust ejected and pulsed through open side fill ports on the sand movers during refilling operations;
- Dust generated by on-site vehicle traffic;
- Dust released from the transfer belt under the sand movers;
- Dust created as sand drops into, or is agitated in, the blender hopper and on transfer belts;
- Dust released from operations of transfer belts between the sand mover and the blender; and
- Dust released from the top of the end of the sand transfer belt (dragon’s tail) on sand movers.
Refineries create a lot of dust during turnaround season.
We offer a variety of protective sealed eyewear
that will allow you to see clearly while also protecting your eyes from dust and other airborne particles. RP210DC
are both brand-new! Both styles offer 3X greater scratch-resistance and 6X greater anti-fog resistance!
RP310PF seals a workers eyes from debris and dust
Fire and Explosion
Explosions caused by a spark igniting certain vapors or gases are a major concern for oil and gas workers. Flame-resistant gear is mandatory across all production platforms, drilling rigs, and construction barges and for midstream workers. OSHA requires that oilfield workers
wear flame-resistant clothing when:
- The drilling process hits formations or zones of hydrocarbons (oils and gases);
- Accessing or extracting the oil and gases;
- Servicing active wells of any kind;
- Stimulating, plugging, or capping inactive wells;
- The well has been drilled, completed, and placed into operation, or when
- The well fluids are brought to the surface and separated, stored, gauged, or otherwise prepared for product delivery
Refinery worker wearing our S1T.
We offer numerous colors and styles of FR coveralls, hoodies, shirts, pants, rainwear, and vests.
OSHA also identifies tank gauging and sampling at oil and gas extraction sites as a concern for fires and explosions when vapor concentrations exceed 10% of the lower explosive limit.
Flash fires are the principal hazard during refinery maintenance and shutdowns. Temperatures range between 1,000-1,900°F
, and a fire will last several seconds.
Check out our flame-resistant gear
web page for all styles offered.
There is no shortage of activities in the oil and gas industry where a worker’s eyes need to be protected. Material coming off drilling pipes, splashing chemicals, flying debris, and sparks are all concerns that every oil and gas worker faces. Working outdoors in high winds further increases the likelihood of eye injury.
OSHA requires that workers wear eye and face protection when they are exposed to or at risk of exposure to flying objects, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
CL4 safety glasses allow earplugs to act as lanyards with earplug retaining technology.
As we’ve mentioned when discussing other hazards, we offer a variety of protective eyewear
, so you’re sure to find the glasses or goggles that are right for you. Check out the brand-new DM1328B and MOUD11BPF
Working with compressed air? Welding? Doing an inspection? Eye protection will help keep your eyes safe.
Liquid and Dropped Objects
Countless objects are capable of falling on a worker’s hands and feet during maintenance on refineries. If you are doing any sort of repair and maintenance work, moving materials, operating a valve, servicing a well, or cleaning a spill (just to name a few tasks!) you are going to need steel-toed boots when working around the presence of water or other liquids, chemical hazards, and dropped impact hazards.
Our VBS120 and PBS120 boots are equipped with steel toes
Cuts and lacerations make up 7% of all oil and gas injury claims. If you are clearing a site, doing construction, or using any type of hand tools, you are more likely to be injured by a sharp object. Whether you’re sanding, grinding materials, cutting pipe, or mounting motors and pipe with metal shims, you’ll need to protect your hands from cuts and lacerations.
Our 3601K gloves protect oil and gas workers from numerous sharp objects
According to a report in Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, 70% of workers who injure their hands aren’t wearing gloves. The remainder are wearing gloves that are not appropriate for the task, or are damaged or otherwise inadequate.
, and UT2953
are some of our brand-new glove options that you’ll want to take a look at if you’re especially concerned about handling sharp objects. Check out all our cut resistance product and ANSI scores here
Keeping oil and gas workers safe from the Hazards
MCR Safety specializes in protecting people from workplace hazards. When it comes to oil and gas hazards, there are very few second chances when exposed to hazardous environments. Do you have questions about oil and gas hazards? Are we missing product offerings for protection you require? Contact us!
You can submit a question, provide suggestion and/or comments. We’re happy to answer your questions and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect PPE gear for your needs.
MCR Safety's Oil and Gas industry web pages offer a lot more insight into industry specific hazards and PPE
For over 40 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it’s on a shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. We Protect People!