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Oil & Gas

Safety Considerations in Oil & Gas

Oil and gas workers encounter countless risks on the job due to the multitude of specific tasks they perform daily. Mitigating these risks begins with protocols driven by the oil and gas safety culture and ends with each worker’s proper PPE, including specialty impact, chemical, cut and oil-resistant gloves.

While fire and explosions are the third most common cause of fatal work injuries in the industry, historically, hand and finger injuries make up nearly 50 percent of all incidents. At times that number is closer to 80 percent of all recordable incidents. Having the proper hand and body protection is of extreme importance to minimize injuries and fatalities. For protection against the risk of cut, impact, chemical splash, fire, repetitive movements, and other hazards in the oil & gas industry, Ansell provides a wide range of best-in-class solutions.

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INDUSTRY HAZARDS

High visibility, waterproof, impact-absorbing, chemical resistant, high durability, high dexterity and better grip are features of gloves used in the oil and gas industry. High performance PPE hand protection are required for medium to heavy-duty tasks. Such tasks include the use of hand tools, pipe handling, valve operation, where struck by" and "caught between objects" tend to be the source of recordable incidents. Handling and positioning of heavy equipment often result in trapped or crushed fingers and hands. Flash fires while less common, are just as serious as most result in extreme thermal injuries when fire resistant body protection is not worn. Despite the efforts by oil and gas companies, the industry statistic indicates that number of hand and finger injuries are increasing year over year. Ansell's extensive portfolio of hand and body protection ensures the safety of oil & gas workers and the products they handle.

Ansell Solutions

Whether in upstream, midstream, or downstream where high risk activities are performed daily during exploration, construction, drilling, production, transportation and refinining, work is often done in extreme environments and hands may easily be exposed to hazards of crush and pinch impacts. High performance PPE hand protection is required for medium to heavy duty tasks including the use of hand tools, pipe handling, valve operation or positioning of heavy equipment. Effective protection of knuckles, fingers and thumbs should be achieved while maintaining maximum durability, dexterity and comfort.
Workers in the oil and gas industries face the risk of fire and explosion due to ignition of flammable vapors or gases. Flammable gases, such as well gases, vapors, and hydrogen sulfide, can be released from wells, trucks, production equipment or surface equipment such as tanks and shale shakers. Ignition sources can include static, electrical energy sources, open flames, lightning, cigarettes, cutting and welding tools, hot surfaces, and frictional heat.
Workers might be exposed to uncontrolled electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, or other sources of hazardous energy if equipment is not designed, installed, and maintained properly. Electrical current exposes workers to a serious, widespread workplace hazard. Many workers are exposed to electrical energy while completing their daily responsibilities, and many are unaware of the potential electrical hazards present in their work environment — making them more vulnerable to the danger of electrocution.
When working at the wellsite, during transportation of fluids, or even at the shop, oil and gas workers are exposed to oils such as hydraulic fluids. Workers need surface barrier protection to prevent oils and other lubricants from making contact with the skin as well as enhanced grip to mitigate muscle fatigue and proper handling of medium to heavy duty tools and equipment.
Workers who use hazardous chemicals during work processes, for example during hydraulic fracturing, might be exposed to hazardous byproducts of oil and gas drilling. Possible hazards include chemical burns from caustic substances and toxic vapors.

It is also important to know the potential means for contamination, such as vapors, spray, splash and immersion; and the route of exposure to the worker, such as inhalation or skin absorption. Many studies from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have shown that absorption of chemicals through the skin can occur without being noticed by the worker.
Well-site workers are exposed to extreme temperatures and should take precautions to stay safe. Dressing properly is extremely important to preventing cold or heat stress. The type of fabric worn also makes a difference. Cotton loses its insulation value when it becomes wet. Wool, silk and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet. Just as important as having the proper body apparel, using the right hand protection for any given enviroment, such as knit, cotton, insulated or water resistant gloves is just as crucial to mitigate the effects of cold or heat related hazards.
Oil and Gas workers are exposed to puncture and cuts through sharp objects including razor blades, sharp steel edges, and dangerous tools and machinery. These hazards are prominent during the machining, assembly, installation, operation, and field repair of oil field assets. To reduce the risk of cuts and infectious diseases, PPE plays an important role and full protection of the hand and arm can be achieved when combining the right gloves.

Ansell’s cut resistant gloves are made with innovative technologies to provide outstanding cut protection with enhanced dexterity, grip and comfort.
Vibration in the workplace is generally classified as: hand–arm vibration, which is transmitted through the use of hand-held powered equipment like impact drills and air powered wrenches. Prolonged exposure can lead to damage to the hand and arm muscles (hand–arm vibration syndrome). The main concerns are therefore the magnitude of vibration transmitted and the duration of exposure.

In addition to muscle fatigue due to vibration, musculoskeletal injuries are often caused by repetitive movements, overexertion of the muscle, and improper positioning while working. Selecting the right PPE can help reduce the risks of damage to muscles, bones & joints.
As a result of COVID-19, workplaces must consider the need to protect against the spread of illness and viral infection. Ansell offers a wide range of solutions that comply with the World Health Organization’s guidance regarding infection prevention and control. In order to make an informed decision, product purchasers and users should stay abreast of the latest and most complete information regarding appropriate PPE to protect against COVID-19 and other viruses in their specific environments and applications.

Tools & Resources

Ansell and Ringers Impact Protection System

As part of Ansell's safety solutions, Ringers' leading impact protection gloves are designed specifically for common tasks performed by utility workers daily. View our video to see why Ringers is Built for Impact.
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Your Ultimate Solution

Ansell is dedicated to being your ultimate safety solution partner. We protect workers from chemical and industrial hazards in the downstream energy industry with our hand and body protection solutions.
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