Working in the oil and gas industry involves corrosive chemicals, flammable substances, and falling objects that present potential hazards during the workday. With the proper PPE, workers remain safe and get the job done. Read on for a rundown of safety equipment and PPE for the oil and gas industry.
Common Hazards in the Industry
There are plenty of factors to consider when staying safe on the job. Workers often encounter chemical and product spills, large-scale fire risks, and confined spaces. The safety of the surrounding environment can rapidly change in the oil and gas industry as well. Workers need to monitor the area with portable gas monitors as they work.
Wearing the necessary PPE while working with gas and oil provides the first line of defense against many hazardous exposures. Taking the necessary steps to prevent fire risks with correct planning and equipment is also vital for protecting the workers and maintaining productivity.
Personal Protective Equipment
Explosions, falls, electrical shocks, noise exposure, handling controlled substances—all are dangerous realities of working in the industry that can severely impact daily life. Supplying workers with the necessary safety equipment and PPE for the oil and gas industry will give them peace of mind and help prevent life-changing injuries.
Head, Face, and Eyes
Following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines reduces incidents during the workday. Eye protection is mandatory if workers regularly encounter flying particles, molten metal, hazardous liquids, gases and vapors, or light radiation. Welders often wear filtered helmets to protect their eyes from flying sparks and glare.
As for falling objects or overhead electrical hazards, providing the necessary head protection does the job. Hard hats must come with impact and penetration protection, with Class G and E hats protecting the body against 2,200 to 20,000 volts of electricity.
Body Protective Equipment
As for body protection, OSHA recommends that employers and employees use protective clothing based on their job duties. Gloves, leather leggings, and safety boots are some of the protective clothing items every oil worker needs to do their best work.
Leather, canvas, and fabric gloves offer protection from dirt, abrasions, splinters, cuts, and heat. Other protective glove materials include neoprene, nitrile, vinyl, and rubber, which are ideal for preventing chemical and heat hazards. Additionally, gloves should protect against heavy vibrations and crushing injuries. Lastly, safety boots should resist slip, trip, and fall hazards while having steel or impact-resistant toes and grippy soles.
Before entering a hazardous area, employers must provide their employees with respirators. Employees should undergo a medical examination and fit test for proper respirator use. Additionally, employees must perform extensive training to correctly maintain and inspect their respirators.
Air-purifying respirators come with cartridges designed for filtering airborne particles or chemicals. If the employee is working in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere, respirators come with a clean breathing air tank or generator.
Both employers and employees must understand the importance of proper protection to do their jobs correctly, efficiently, and safely.