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Healthcare in Oil & Gas

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The Oil & Gas industry is a very demanding sector to work for; often personnel have to put in long strenuous working hours under demanding conditions, thereby exposing them to a wide array of occupational health risks. Consequently, healthcare professionals are much needed within the industry. - Jess Potts

The Oil & Gas industry is a very demanding sector to work for; often personnel have to put in long strenuous working hours under demanding conditions, thereby exposing them to a wide array of occupational health risks.


Inadvertently, this has a devastating effect on the physical, mental and financial well being of the individuals, which in the long run affects their families in particular and society in general.


The hazards in the industry can be classified into two categories:


Safety and Injury hazards


• Accidents (bad road conditions, fatigue while driving)
• Contact injuries (struck by tools, machines)
• Fire and explosions (due to combustible hydrocarbons)
• Confined space (storage tanks, pipelines)


Health and Illness hazards


• Chemical hazards (toxic, corrosive, asphyxiates)
• Physical hazards (noise, radiations, excess temperature)
• Biological hazards (virus, parasites, bacteria)


Hence, it is vital that all the key stakeholders concerned with the energy sector display their commitment to facilitating worker’s health and safety by establishing a robust healthcare system.


Benefits of healthcare system


• Workers safety
• Regular checkup to eliminate work related illness
• Contributing to cost of healthcare
• Ensuring the sound health of workforce


However, field operations have their unique hazards, and integrating healthcare systems with field operations could be very challenging.


The following steps could yield results:


• Streamlining work force means lesser personnel
• Monitoring and maintaining workers health would increase productivity, boost employee morale, improve employee retention rates and enhance the firm’s brand image
• Facilitating legislative compliance would eliminate expensive litigations


Opportunities for Healthcare professionals


• Qualified medics/nurses are in great demand at offshore oil rigs.

They have to perform a variety of duties including:


• Delivering medical assistance to crew members.
• Ensuring medicines are stocked at optimal level.
• Facilitating preventive healthcare.
• Monitoring physical and mental well-being of personnel.
• Overseeing standards of hygiene.


Working conditions on offshore rigs could be very challenging. Oil rig platform medics are required to work for 6 months in a year (12 hour shifts every day), while they would be on leave for the remaining 6 months.


Regarding qualifications, they are expected to be certified in CPR and first aid, and having at least two years of emergency room experience. Having said that, the remuneration would be much more than for a land-based job, which more than compensates for the tough professional life on board the oil rig.


- Jess Potts


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