It is no secret that a job in the oil industry carries more risk than most employment. It is part of the reason the work pays so well. Yet, you may be surprised to discover that the biggest risk for oil workers is not a massive explosion but something rather mundane.
Driving accidents kill more oil workers than anything else. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), they account for 42% of all deaths in the industry. 10% of these occur on-site, and 32% on the journeys to and from the site.
Why is driving so risky for oil workers?
Vehicle crashes are one of the chief causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the world, regardless of what job you do. Where else but the roads do you have to contend with hundreds of metal units, each weighing a ton or more zooming around you at high speed?
Oil workers face the same hazards everyone does when they travel by vehicle. The main ones being others driving recklessly or while drunk, distracted or tired. Yet, some additional industry-specific factors add to the risk.
The first is the long hours the job requires. Working long shifts for a month at a time is a great way to earn money, yet when you finish, you will be exhausted. That makes driving more dangerous.
Second is the scale of the vehicles and machinery used in the industry. Drivers in charge of these have to cope with restricted vision, increasing the chance they injure someone walking around the site or in a smaller vehicle.
If you or a loved one is injured while working in the oil industry, understanding how to claim compensation is crucial. Despite the fact this is a multi-billion dollar industry, you still have to fight to get the total amount you are due.