Driller in oil and gas industry wearing PPE
The oil and gas industry can be one of the most dangerous industries to work in. There are a wide variety of hazards to deal with on a daily basis including working with products and chemicals can be corrosive, flammable, or even explosive. Thankfully, over the years the safety has improved greatly, but what personal protective equipment (PPE) is now required in the oil and gas industry?

Below, we break down some of the most common forms of PPE and why they’re important.

Head, Face, and Eye PPE in the Oil and Gas Industry

Eye protection is some of the most important PPE for some roles working in the oil and gas industry as workers can be exposed to particulate matter, molten metal, hazardous, acidic, or caustic liquids, gases, or vapors, even potentially harmful light radiation.

To combat this, safety glasses with side shields are mandated to help greatly with lower risk roles, while impermeable goggles are usually required while working around liquid, gas, or vapour hazards. Face shields may be used in some jobs as well where eye protection from debris is more important.

Oil and gas industry worker wearing PPE

Best PPE for the Body

Body PPE varies quite a lot in the oil and gas industry as how much is actually needed depends entirely on the role. However, one piece of PPE that’s almost always required is steel-toed or impact-resistant boots that offer a high level of grip. There’s a lot of heavy machinery and equipment in the oil and gas industry and protecting your feet from any heavy objects is important.

Other important PPE for the body are gloves made from leather, canvas, and fabric. They can effectively protect hands from dirt, splinters, abrasions, cuts, and heat.

For roles that consistently work with chemicals, gloves with neoprene, nitrile, vinyl, and rubber work the best.

PPE to Protect Lungs

The “gas” part of the oil and gas industry typically involves gases that aren’t good to inhale. Thus, it’s essential for your lungs to be protected in these roles with the proper protective gear that’s rated for whatever environment you’d be working in.

An employer is obligated to provide respirators in the most dangerous roles and educate their employees about how to properly care for them as well. PPE works its best when it’s properly maintained and cared for—respirators especially. In circumstances where the air cannot be made safe through filtering, such as in oxygen-deficient atmospheres, atmosphere-supplying respirators can provide clean breathing air from a tank or generator.

Overall, employers are legally required in to offer essential PPE, but it’s never a bad idea to purchase additional gear yourself that you know you’re the only using it to keep it in the best possible condition.

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