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Hazard alert issued for oil and gas industry

Louisiana workers in the oil and gas sector may benefit from learning about a hazard alert that has been issued. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Service Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health united to issue the hazard alert to help prevent deaths caused by the ignition of vapors emitted by vehicles and motorized machinery in that industry.

Motorized equipment and vehicles can be very dangerous if they are in the proximity of a wellbore or any other inflammable source. This can include frac tanks, production tanks and flowback tanks.

According to the hazard alert, a Fire Risk Assessment should be conducted to confirm that motorized equipment is out of harm's way during work. The alert also recommends ensuring that all employees are aware of the proper emergency protocols and specific duties in the event operations have to shut down.

Additional suggestions include detecting potential sources that can release flammable vapors and gases and being aware of their locations relative to any other ignition sources on the work site. Factors such as temperature, shifting winds and other weather variables should be taken into consideration as well. There are also engineering controls and preventative measures included in the hazard alert. They include using administrative control methods to control the entry of vehicles or motorized equipment into areas that may contain combustible gases or vapors. Workers may also want to consider removing ignition sources, such as open flames or cigarettes, that can cause sparks.

Individuals who sustain a workplace injury should speak with an attorney regarding their options. In many cases, workers' compensation benefits should be available, and an attorney can assist with the preparation of the required claim documents.

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