Smoking is well known as a common vice that many workers are addicted to. In addition to being detrimental to the worker’s health, it is also a possible safety hazard. The lit tip of a cigarette is hot enough to ignite oil and gas, causing an explosion. In most well sites in South Texas, there is also the potential to ignite dry grass and start a larger fire. Most operations, in response to this hazard, have either designated smoking areas or banned smoking outright.


The safety hazards associated with welding are easily more severe than those of smoking due to the intense heat and chemicals involved. Welders, unlike smokers, receive training and supervision in response to this hazard. A hot work permit is also required for welding to account for possible flammable and explosive hazards. Even with these extra safety precautions, the bottom line is that oilfields often need welders, but they never need smokers.


Another thing that no operation needs is energy drinks. Some energy drinks, when consumed to excess or combined with the exertion and heat of oilfield work, can increase the risk of dehydration or more serious illness. Some alcoholic drinks are designed to look like energy drinks and can be hard to identify at a distance. Although energy drinks can be safe under normal circumstances, some operators have moved to ban them on location for these reasons.


Hoodies have also been banned from some well sites. Even though these can be a favorite to keep workers warm on cold days, companies are worried that the loose hood can pose a snagging hazard when it comes in contact with rotating or moving equipment.


When these items are banned from a worksite then they should be left at home. It is important to remember that your employer and the operator will retain the ability to search both if they suspect contraband items and at random.

Recommended Training: H2S MonitorSafeland Orientation

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