Oil and gas well drilling and servicing activities involve many different types of equipment and materials. Recognizing and controlling hazards is critical to preventing injuries and deaths. Several of these hazards are highlighted below. See Standards and Enforcement for more information on evaluation and control requirements.
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. The following OSHA and NIOSH documents provide guidance on recognizing and controlling these hazards: