Few topics in SafeLand are more region specific than the weather. In certain regions, some types of extreme weather are much more or less likely. In South Texas, however, the meeting of mid-continent and gulf coast regions means that all types of severe hazards are possible and need to be covered in the SafeLand orientation.
High temperatures during the summer months are one of the most distinctive parts of the South Texas climate. We have covered heat safety in an earlier SafeLand topic post including a widget showing the current weather conditions in South Texas and San Antonio.
HAIL, LIGHTING, HIGH WINDS, TORNADOES
Hail is an occasional hazard that can cause injury or property damage. Workers need to be ready to seek shelter in vehicles or the dog-house if forecasts show approaching hail storms. Lightning is known to cause fatalities as strikes can be powerful and appear somewhat at random. The metal in the derrick can easily attract lightning strikes, so if lightning is visible then it is time to consider shutting down the rig and seeking shelter until the storm has passed. Lightning can also start grass fires and block your egress.
High winds can push equipment over, which needs to be taken into account in South Texas. Winds can also pick up loose items and create a struck-by hazard. Tornadoes are somewhat unusual in South Texas, but they are still possible. They create extremely high wind hazards.
After heavy rains, rivers and watersheds rise and can create a flooding hazard. South Texas workers need SafeLand training to understand that even high clearance trucks have become stuck in small temporary water crossings. Larger floods can trap workers at the wellsite and sweep away vehicles and equipment.
Due to its position along the gulf coast, South Texas occasionally experiences hurricanes during mid to late summer. Hurricanes bring a large amount of wind and rainfall. This presents struck-by and flooding hazards that need to be planned for. Fortunately, news media seem the best prepared when it comes to presenting forecasts for upcoming hurricanes.
ICE AND COLD
When people think about South Texas, they do not often consider the hazards of cold weather. South Texas, however, can ice up and experience cold periods during the winter. SafeLand teaches workers how to be aware of hypothermia and frostbite because when it does occasionally freeze over that doesn’t mean the rigs will shut down. Also, because workers may be sent to work in higher latitudes, even when SafeLand is taught in San Antonio it is important to cover cold weather hazards.
Recommended Training: San Antonio SafeLand
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