There is a reason that working in an oilfield is known as a highly paid job. This is because it is also known as a very dangerous job. In fact, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, provide some very interesting statistics on people who work in the field for oilfield companies in Houston, TX. Here are just a few:
In the oil industry, it is approximated that 15 people die every single day from injuries related to work in an oilfield. Every single year, over 4 million people are inflicted with non-life-threatening injuries. Of course, these are only the reported cases. There are an untold number of injuries suffered which are never reported. This can be due to either fear of repercussions from unscrupulous supervisors or due to not wanting to missing work due to the reported injury.
There is also the risk of being exposed to gases in the air. For this reason, workers in an oilfield are required to wear special monitors that beep out a warning when there is too much of a specified substance in the air detected. In some worksites, they are also trained in how to put on special masks and air tanks so that they can breathe unhindered for long periods of time.
One of the most dangerous gases the workers can encounter is hydrogen sulfide. This is a dangerous gas which can accumulate in both oil wells and oil tanks. The smell of it has been likened to rotten eggs when the levels are safe by being low but when the levels are dangerously high, the gas will actually paralyze the sense of smell of the person and they can die very quickly without ever knowing anything is wrong.
It is for these reasons and many others that work in an oil field is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America.