Extracting gas or oil is a dangerous business in West Virginia, but it also is a necessary one. Those who work in this field face daily hazards that could cost them their lives but they do so to help everyone else get the energy sources they need. If you choose to work in this industry, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the risks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines various categories of hazards that are commonly seen in the gas and oil industry. The first are explosions and fires, which are obvious due to the highly combustible nature of oil and gas. These hazards can happen when a spark ignites a fume and can occur in an instant.
Another common danger comes from the high-pressure lines. These can erode over time, break or otherwise become defective, leading to failures. There is also the risk of other machinery and equipment. Not only can these things fail or malfunction, but they are also dangerous to work with if everyone is not following safety protocols.
Confined spaces also pose a danger. They can lead to suffocation, poisoning or explosions. Such spaces must be constantly tested and monitored to ensure they are safe. Another related issue is being struck by or caught in between something. These hazards are often due to negligence or not following proper safety protocols.
On any worksite, there are fall hazards. Platform work or anything requiring work above the ground can lead to serious or deadly falls. Again, the key to preventing such accidents is following all safety protocols. This information is for education and is not legal advice.