The oil and gas industry is one of the most profitable career paths you can pursue, but it’s no walk in the park. The reason employees in this industry are paid so well is because of the amount of danger and the number of hazards they must contend with. If you’ve been considering a career in this field, then you must know what the most dangerous jobs in the oil industry are. Then, you’ll be well-prepared and well-informed before landing a job.
Derrickhands are crucial in that they supervise the machinery of the drill pipes and ensure everything is running smoothly. They also oversee the maintenance and repair of machinery on the oilfield or on an oil rig when necessary, which means they typically work in close proximity to hazardous machinery. On top of that, they’re often forced to work irregular shifts and long hours even in the most extreme weather conditions. This places all sorts of hazards around derrickhands, and injuries to limbs are most common since workers interact with the machinery with their hands. To help provide a measure of protection, equip yourself with oilfield impact gloves to lessen the risk of crushing and critically injuring your hands.
Because of their extended working hours—and thus larger payoff—the driving jobs are very attractive to potential employees. However—rather than the job itself—the thing that makes this one of the most dangerous jobs in the oil industry is the policies surrounding it. Under FMCSA rules, drivers who are stuck waiting are considered “off-duty,” and so they end up working long hours to make up the difference. As a result, exhaustion creates a greater likelihood of vehicle-related accidents. The oil industry has one of the highest rates of worker deaths as a result of driving accidents.
Rustabouts are the general labor of the oil industry; this job doesn’t require any complex technical knowledge. Instead, their role is to perform arduous physical tasks. Like derrickhands, rustabouts are expected to work under extreme climates such as excessive heat or cold while using unpredictable and hazardous tools or machinery. Rustabouts are on the front lines of the industry.