Common Causes of Injury in the Oil and Gas Industry – Slips, Trips and Falls

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Working from elevated positions at well sites often expose workers to falls. Standing on a chair or bucket; working from ladders; ascending/descending equipment; not properly tying off or improper use of fall protection equipment; working or walking at a height such as catwalks, platforms, beams, roofs; inadequate barriers, guardrails, handrails, platforms, catwalks, etc. can easily lead to injury.

Basic precautionary measures to reduce exposure should include, but not limited to:

  • Keep walk/work areas free of clutter or trash.
  • Don’t rush!
  • Do not carry anything that obstructs your view or places excess strain on your body.
  • Assess the area for any tripping hazards before work begins, remove or react appropriately.
  • Watch for raised edges on metal walkways, platforms, sidewalks, equipment panels or guards, rugs and mats, correct and/or repair as soon as possible, communicate the condition to others.
  • Use three-point contact when going up and downstairs and ladders.
  • Avoid walking backwards even when helping carry a load; turn to the side and walk.
  • Note and remove/repair promptly any tripping hazards that may exist on any equipment or along any walkway.
  • Install, inspect, and secure stairs and handrails.
  • Give instructions on the proper procedures for using and installing ladders.
  • Use only ladders in good repair that do not have missing rungs and never lean or overreach from a ladder.
  • When using ladders use the appropriate type and size, ensure the ladder is set properly and securely and tied off if it is an extension ladder.
  • Always use appropriate safety harnesses and lanyards anytime working at a height (including mechanical lifts); utilize the protection they provide from the beginning of the job until you are safely down.
  • Always examine any ladder, scaffolding, safety harnesses, and lanyards before use to ensure there are no defects or damage.
  • Speak up, prevent an accident or injury whenever you see someone placing themselves at risk.

Slips and falls are major contributing factors to injuries and fatalities in almost every industry. However, these injuries can be prevented by following proper guidelines and procedures.


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.