Stay Safe by Being Aware of Oil Field Electrical Risks

September 24, 2019

Working on an oil field can be dangerous, regardless of the specific capacity in which you’re working. There are a variety of dangers that could present themselves in the course of regular work, and it is important for anyone working at such a site to understand how to protect themselves from those dangers and what steps they should take if those dangers happen to arise.

Here is a quick overview of some of the most common oil field electrical risks in Carlsbad, NM, and some of the steps you can take to keep yourself and your coworkers safe.

Identify potential arc flash hazards

Burns sustained during arc flashes can be quite serious, but they can be prevented with the use of personal protective equipment that has been rated for use in such situations. There are some pieces of equipment commonly found at compressor stations, water treatment facilities, well pads and other upstream locations that could create enough thermal incident energy to result in serious injuries, which means it is crucial to calculate the incident energy at every location. An engineer or electrician can perform an incident energy analysis (also known as an arc flash study) on the equipment at the site, and then apply the proper arc flash warning label, raising awareness of the risks in the area.

Identify potential shock hazards

Arc flashes aren’t the only risk that should be identified early on—shock hazard risk is also important to consider. There is clear guidance from OSHA regarding shock hazards. All workers are required to understand how close to an exposed, energized or possibly energized conductor or circuit part they can get before there is a real risk of electrocution or shock injury. Any workers without the proper qualifications must stay outside of shock protection boundaries (referred to as the “limited approach boundary”). Even qualified workers should only cross into these restricted areas if properly insulated.

Identify any types of hazards, and always maintain safe approach distances. Even something as innocent as an overhead power line can quickly become a hazard if a crane touches it, or if a storm occurs.

Train all workers

All workers should be put through rigorous training to make sure they are qualified to be working on the site and that they understand all of the safety protocols to put into action at the oil field. Just because an electrician already has years of general experience does not mean there should be an assumption that he or she understands all oil field safety protocol. Everyone should go through the same processes.

Gear up

Everyone on the site should wear personal protective equipment at all times. This includes insulating gloves, fire-resistant clothing and proper face and hand protection.

For more information about the various steps you can take to avoid injury at an oil field and to guard against common oil field electrical risks in Carlsbad, NM, contact JB Electric LLC today. We’d be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you have.

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