Dangers of Working in an Oilfield

Not all jobs are hazardous in nature. In fact, for many of us, the worst that could possibly happen at work is getting a paper cut or developing finger cramps from flipping too many pages.

But working in an oilfield . . . now that’s something else. An oilfield is an inherently dangerous workplace environment. Working with oil places you at risk of contamination and even death because of the conditions you’ll be working under. Heavy machinery, highly inflammable substances, and a host of other factors contribute to the degree of harm oilfield workers are exposed to.

If you get hurt on an oilfield in Texas, be sure to contact the oilfield injury attorneys at Colley Firm, PC.

Because of this, it goes without saying that workers need to practice safety protocols and take necessary precautions against foreseeable dangers to ensure that they’re kept out of harm’s way.

Common Dangers of Working in an Oilfield

Mechanical Failure

The successful running of an oilfield ordinarily involves the use of heavy machinery. Like all machinery, mechanical faults are more common than not, thereby making it important to provide safety and emergency training to workers. However, the need to exercise care and vigilance depends on the nature of the machinery you’re operating.

Explosions and Fires

Perhaps the most dangerous hazards associated with working in an oilfield, explosions and fires are a daily occurrence. This is primarily because oil is a highly flammable substance. And not only that, the processing of crude oil requires the use of many chemicals, several of which are combustible, although not to the same extent as oil.

The worst part about oilfield-related fires and explosions is that they occur with no prior warning and that they’re difficult to extinguish. So when a fire breaks out, it’s going to be important to have firefighting equipment close at hand to mitigate harm.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

As it turns out, working with combustible substances is just half the story. There’s also the danger of exposure to potentially life-threatening chemicals, either through inhalation or by touch.

Several oilfield operations result in hazardous chemicals being released into the surrounding air. The impact may not be felt immediately, but over a prolonged period of time, health complications may set in. Being on the lookout for general symptoms of exposure will definitely reduce the risk factors.


“Field” in “oilfield” does not necessarily imply working on flat terrain. An oilfield is a huge operation. As such, workers will at some point be expected to carry out repairs and maintenance by working on high platforms. It’s imperative to have safety precautions in place like railings and props to prevent falls. Because falling from a high elevation can cause death, disability, or long-term trauma, it’s possible that you may never work again. So unless your employer has signed you up for long-term disability coverage, you’re going to have to make a plan for insurance.

Oilfields are dangerous places to work. But because you have to put food on the table, there’s not much of a negotiation there. What you can do, however, is place great importance on your health and future welfare owing to the many hazards associated with oilfields. Get long-term disability insurance and ensure that you exercise the necessary care and caution to prevent unnecessary injuries and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Yes, accidents happen. Sometimes, there’s not much you can do about it. Nonetheless, making certain that you avoid preventable accidents is the best way. If you do get hurt, contact a personal injury lawyer or a work comp attorney.