Fall protection is a must in the oil and gas industry, as the jobs require working at height in tough conditions.
Fall protection is a must in many industries, and the oil and gas industry are no exception. Many of the job duties that oil and gas workers are expected to perform on a daily basis require working at height in tough conditions like inclement weather and slippery surfaces. Additionally, many oil and gas job sites are rural and remote. Using fall protection is a must, and it’s also an OSHA requirement. See why using fall protection is so important and what fall protection products are necessary.
The Dangers of Working at Height in the Oil and Gas Industry
Workers face many fall hazards while working in the oil and gas industry. There are many aspects of the job that require employees to work at height on elevated equipment, such as drilling and service rigs. Workers can expect to face rain, snow, ice, dirt, mud, and slippery surfaces. It’s a job filled with dangers and fall protection products can mitigate that risk.
Oil and gas workers can expect to have to climb derrick ladders that are 30 to 100 feet high; some ladders are offset, which means it’s not one single ladder that runs in a straight line up and down but several ladders that are adjacent to one another and must be transitioned to. Workers can also expect to work on platforms that feature gaps in the floor and open edges without handrails. This is all while dealing with wet, icy, dirty, and slippery surfaces.
Fall Protection Requirements
Oil and gas workers should employ the ABCDs of fall protection. They must utilize an adequate anchor point with a minimum load capacity of 5,000 pounds, a body harness, a connector such as self-retracting lifeline or a shock-absorbing lanyard and positioning lanyards, and, lastly, a descending device. This last requirement is so that if a worker does experience a fall, he can raise or lower himself to safety. Due to the remote job sites found in the oil and gas industry, it’s not always feasible for a rescue team to respond. At the very least, a worker should have suspension straps to reduce the risk of suspension trauma until he can be rescued.