The oil and gas industry is extremely dangerous. According to a recent analysis by E&E News, it might have the highest rates of severe injury in the country. Before looking at why the industry is so dangerous, it’s important to understand the petroleum industry’s supply chain, and where most of those injuries occur.

Petroleum Industry Supply Chain

The petroleum industry’s supply chain consists of three primary components:

  • Upstream
  • Midstream
  • Downstream

This first component is where most of the injuries take place. In the upstream industry, workers conduct geological surveys, extract raw material and produce the oil or gas. The product then moves on to the next stage, where it’s stored and transported before moving to the downstream industry, where the product reaches end users.

Most common severe injuries

In the data collected, severe injuries are those causing hospitalization or loss of a body part.

  • Amputation| Most commonly fingers and fingertips from the use of heavy machinery.
  • Fractures| Most commonly fractures of the legs caused in many cases by swinging machinery and heavy equipment.
  • Falls/Struck by Objects| With the heavy use of cranes on-board oil rigs comes the risk of impact by moving objects. Additionally, raw materials spills result in slip and fall injuries.
  • Fires and Explosions| If working with highly combustible materials weren’t dangerous enough, work shifts average 12 hours per day for one to two weeks at a time.

Injury Reporting

Until 2015, there was no requirement for employers to report the injuries listed above. Prior to, employers need only report fatalities and incidents involving the hospitalization of three or more employees.

Injured oil and gas workers are likely facing extreme pain and stress, which can have lasting effects in other areas of their lives. Getting help from a competent and compassionate attorney can be the first step in the healing process.