Protection in the Oil and Gas Field

Employees in Pennsylvania might benefit from understanding more about hand protection in the gas and oil industry, as described by the Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA). The fatality rate in this industry is eight times higher than the workplace average for the nation. These workplace injuries have become common at refineries, transportation hubs, and drilling sites in the gas and oil sector. This type of work can be especially detrimental to workers’ hands.

Workers employed in this industry routinely work with chains, pipes, heavy equipment and other types of tools. This work is often done with hands frequently exposed to oil and related byproducts, thereby increasing the risk of slippage or a similar type of accident. Even without slippage, the viscosity in oil can reduce the hand’s grip on an object by 30 to 40 percent. Injuries from drops and slips become inevitable, and developing conditions like carpal tunnel is common as well.

Employees who suffer symptoms caused by carpal tunnel syndrome miss about 25 days of work, on average. Workers involved with the gas and oil industry may need to wear specialized gloves in order to provide adequate protection for their hands. During 2012, nearly 140 employees in the gas and oil industry were killed on the job while approximately 20 percent of the injuries involved a finger, hand or wrist. In many cases, a hand injury suffered on an oilfield can cost more than $21,000.

Employees who have suffered injuries from a workplace accident may benefit from confiding in a lawyer. Legal counsel could investigate the incident and could possibly help determine whether the employer or a third party should be held liable for damages. Lawyers may also help injured employees obtain wage benefits and medical coverage as well.