How Seasonal Changes Impact Worker Safety
Workers in the oil and gas industry may be much more susceptible to seasonal changes affecting their health and safety than those in other industries. Due to the already risky nature of their jobs, adding the possibility of snow and ice on the rigs can make certain injuries more common, especially if working offshore.
Which Injuries Are More Common in Winter?
Although most of Texas doesn't see inclement weather changes in the winter, many major oil and gas hubs are in areas where snow and icy conditions may be common. Workers may be more likely to experience complications from:
- Slip and falls
- Cold stress:
- Trench foot
- Pneumonia and other illnesses
- Fires and explosions
- Motor vehicle accidents
In addition to these risks, offshore workers may experience additional hazards related to:
- Limited access to emergency care
- Power outages
- Falling icicles
- High winds
- Low visibility
Employers should ensure they are taking the necessary precautions to reduce the possibility of serious injury or illness during the winter months.
Preventing Worker Injuries in Inclement Weather
It's the employer's responsibility to train workers to handle winter hazards and implement safety protocols to keep them from harm. Some ways to improve worker safety during the winter months include:
- Mandatory break times in warm areas to limit prolonged exposure to inclement weather.
- Monitoring signs of cold stress in employees.
- Hazard communication for wintery conditions and severe weather.
- Requiring workers to wear a minimum of three layers, per OSHA recommendations.
- Scheduling shifts during the 'warmer' parts of the day.
It's also essential to secure offshore rigs with backup generators and reliable means of communication for employees.
Winter Injury? Call The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC
Our San Antonio-based firm has been helping workers in the oil and gas industry recover damages from accident injuries for over a decade. With free case evaluations available 24/7 in English or Spanish, we are prepared to help you whenever you need it most.
Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by calling (210) 807-3178 or filling out this short form.