In the oil and gas industry, workers install, repair, and maintain high-pressure lines and vessels. Human error, equipment failure, and external conditions can lead to sudden pressure release, which is extremely dangerous. Learn how InSource Insurance Group can help protect your business from sudden pressure release events and other perils.
What Causes Dangerous High-Pressure Release?
Oil and gas production companies use high-pressure vessels to store gases, vapors, and liquids. When properly used, compressed gas vessels and lines are at low risk of sudden pressure release. However, various risk factors can lead to high-pressure equipment giving out and suddenly releasing the contents under pressure.
Over time, pressure vessels can crack, which allows hazardous gas to leak and, potentially, explode. Failure to frequently inspect equipment is a contributing factor in sudden pressure release from damaged equipment. Additionally, if a worker attempts repairs on pressurized equipment without alerting others, unsuspecting coworkers may turn on machinery and cause an unintended pressure release. Severe weather conditions and new workplace practices can also lead to pressure-related accidents.
Effects of Sudden Pressure Release
When a sudden pressure release occurs, workers risk suffering burns, hazardous gas inhalation, and blunt force injuries from flying objects. Pressure release accidents can even lead to worker fatalities. In addition to worker injuries, your business might experience property damage or equipment failure, which could shut your operations down for days, resulting in lost income. Employees and clients may also accuse your business of unsafe practices and file lawsuits against your business.
InSource Insurance Group helps oil and gas businesses protect themselves from the financial consequences of workplace injuries, property damage, and lawsuits. We specialize in customized insurance coverage for oil and gas businesses, and our team can help you implement loss control practices and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards.
InSource Insurance Group understands the risks unique to your oil and gas business. Learn how we can help protect your workers, equipment, and financial assets with comprehensive oil and gas insurance.
OSHA Employer Responsibilities for Oil and Gas Businesses
Because the oil and gas industry is full of occupational hazards, OSHA regulates business practices relating to workplace hazards. Oil and gas extraction businesses must identify, eliminate, or control all serious risks that workers encounter. They’re also responsible for performing hazard inspections and assessing the efficiency of personal protective equipment during a job safety analysis.
By implementing safety and health standards recommended by OSHA and individual state plans, you can mitigate or prevent accidents and help create a safe workplace.
Pressure Release Hazard Prevention and Control
To prevent dangerous pressure releases, OSHA requires businesses to create safety plans and educate workers on hazard prevention and control. Worker safety training topics include:
Operating pressurized equipment
Following safety instructions
Using personal protective equipment
Implementing a lockout/tagout procedure
Identifying equipment safety concerns
Creating restricted zones
Working with open flames or sparks
Following emergency procedures
With proper training, oil and gas workers learn how to be alert during tasks, avoid unsafe practices and areas, and use the appropriate safety gear when working near recognized hazards. A hazard prevention and control plan benefits your workers, your business, and your bank account.
Protect Your Business From Pressure Release Accidents
With a solid safety plan, updated equipment, and effective training program, you can significantly reduce the risk of a sudden pressure release event. However, sometimes accidents occur even when your workers follow all safety precautions. If your business experiences a sudden pressure release, insurance can help you handle the aftermath and the resulting financial damages.
At InSource Insurance Group, we specialize in industry-specific insurance for oil and gas businesses, including:
Control of well: If sudden pressure release leads to a well blowout, control of well insurance may help cover costs associated with regaining well control, cleaning up pollution, and/or restoring operational function.
Oil and gas lease property (OLP): Sudden pressure release can cause significant equipment damage. OLP insurance is intended to pay to repair or replace equipment damaged by a covered cause of loss, and it may recover the value of lost oil.
Rig and hull insurance: If your business transports pressurized contents on your boat, tanker, or carrier, rig and hull insurance may pay to repair your vessel and machinery after a sudden pressure release accident.
Riggers insurance: When lifting and moving heavy equipment on a rig, property damage and worker injuries can occur. Riggers insurance may cover legal costs for contractors if they cause damage to others’ property while rigging it.
InSource Insurance Group has been protecting businesses in the oil and gas industry for almost 90 years. Contact us today to take advantage of our oil and gas industry expertise and help protect your business from sudden pressure release accidents.