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Employer safety requirements for gas workers

If you work in the oil and gas industry, you likely face a multitude of dangers every day. From hazardous chemicals to risk of explosion, there are many reasons to take extra precautions to protect yourself against work-related injuries. This is where personal protective equipment, or PPE, comes into play.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration dictates that all employers should assess workplace hazards and provide proper PPE to employees. As a worker in a perilous industry, regulations entitle you to certain equipment to help you stay safe.

PPE Items

Your manager should make a concerted effort to prevent bodily injury while you are on the job. Special equipment absorbs impact and keeps dangerous substances from reaching the most sensitive parts of your body:

  •       Eyes
  •       Face
  •       Head
  •       Hands
  •       Feet

In some cases, you may require additional equipment. Environments with excessively loud noises call for ear wear to preserve hearing. As an oil and gas worker, the risk of electrical shock may necessitate the use of insulated body wear and accessories.

Breathing masks can aid in respiratory problems from pollution or other airborne toxins, such as crystalline silica or hydrogen sulfide. Flash fires, which are common in the petroleum industry, may lead to dangerous smoke inhalation and burns. Some clothing material can provide an extra layer of protection.

Training and Maintenance

Thorough training and proper maintenance fall under the umbrella of employer responsibility. One way of accomplishing this is yearly safety inspections or advanced training seminars. Report any damaged, defective or deteriorating equipment to your manager so he or she can arrange timely replacement.

Think about the risks you encounter on a daily basis, and consider if you have all the PPE you need to avoid workplace illness or injury. You should speak to upper-level management if you have any concerns about the equipment your employer provides. You have a right to stay safe while performing your job.