Accidents at Work Scotland: Working Offshore | Watermans

Accidents at Work Scotland – How to Avoid Oil Rig Accidents

The oil and gas industry is crucial to the Scottish economy. Currently employing almost 200,000 workers, the industry contributes billions of pounds each year to Scotland’s GDP.

As an offshore drilling worker, your main place of work will be on an oil rig, out in the middle of the sea. According to the UK Government’s National Careers website, the work type of an offshore drilling worker can be physically demanding. Offshore drilling workers are required to work from great heights, at nighttime, and in all kinds of extreme weather conditions.

Therefore, it may come as no surprise that working as an oil platform worker was recently rated the third most dangerous job in the UK. Different tasks expected of offshore drilling workers can include operating heavy machinery, handling hazardous substances and working from a height, which pose a series of health and safety risks.

Tips for staying safe at work offshore

There are many different hazards that you could be exposed to as an employee working on an oil rig. While it is the duty of your employer to provide you with a safe working environment, it is your responsibility to make sure you work as safely as you can to prevent accidents from happening. Our Personal Injury team at Watermans has put together a list of tips to help you keep you safe at work on an oil rig.

Follow safety procedures

It is absolutely essential that, as someone who works on an oil rig, you are fully aware of and follow the safety procedures set by your employers. Make sure that you wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), like hard hats, steel toe-capped boots and ear defenders. It’s important to keep up to date on any safety meetings or training sessions that are provided by your employer too.

Report potential hazards

If you see something that could be hazardous in your work area, report it to your supervisor or a safety officer immediately. The sooner that hazards are reported, the faster the team can address them and reduce the chance of an accident happening.

Know your manual handling techniques

Working on an oil rig means working with all sorts of different heavy objects and tools. If you have to move something, make sure that you use the correct moving and lifting techniques that you should have been taught in your health and safety sessions, to avoid the potential for manual handling accidents.

Handle hazardous substances carefully

Working on the rigs can mean exposure to many different substances, such as chemicals, oil and gas. When in the vicinity of or handling these substances, be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are wearing the appropriate PPE for the job.

Keep the rig clean

A clean space is a safe space, so make sure to keep any walking space on the rig clear of potential hazards. Mop up any spillages and have appropriate safety signage on display to reduce the chances of an accident happening.

Take breaks!

Working on an oil rig can be physically and mentally draining. Because of this, our solicitors suggest taking regular breaks and resting when you need to. If you work when you are tired, your attention span and awareness is reduced, and you are more likely to make mistakes on the job. Overly-tired employees are reported to be 70% more likely to be involved in an accident at work than their colleagues who get a good night’s sleep.

Remember, it is the duty of your employer to provide a safe, secure workspace. However, in such a high-risk working environment, every effort should be made by both employers and employees alike to reduce the risk of an accident happening.

Speak with our accident at work Scotland solicitors today.


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