- Safety and Health Topics
- Oil and Gas Extraction
Oil and Gas Extraction
Over 450,000 workers were employed in the oil and gas extraction and support industries in 2011 (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages). These workers are engaged in many different industrial processes needed to successfully drill and service a well. These processes frequently require the use of specialized equipment and specialized work crews.
From 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job-a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries (Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries). This database also reports similar fatality rates since at least the early 1990s. Safety and health hazards and dangerous conditions that can result in fatalities for oil and gas workers include:
- Vehicle Accidents
- Struck-By/ Caught-In/ Caught-Between
- Explosions and Fires
- Confined Spaces
- Chemical Exposures
The information and resources provided on this web page can help workers and employers identify and eliminate hazards in their workplace. The web page introduces applicable OSHA regulatory requirements, as well as industry standards and guidance aimed at identifying, preventing, and controlling exposure to hazards.
Employers must protect the safety and health of workers involved in oil and gas operations according to:
- OSHA's General Industry Standards (29 CFR 1910)
- OSHA's Construction Standards (29 CFR 1926)
- General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act
Five OSHA regions located in areas of significant upstream activities use national, regional, and local emphasis programs to inspect oilfield worksites:
Standards and Enforcement
Exposures to hazards present in the oil and gas well drilling, servicing, and storage industry are addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry.
Provides information on recognizing and controlling hazards associated with oil and gas extraction activities.
Discusses health hazard information associated with oil and gas extraction activities.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to oil and gas extraction.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.