There are various risks and hazards vulnerable in to industrial and mechanical operations associated with oil and gas rigs. For instance, oil or gas blow out is extremely common. These are the various dangers that individuals working under this environment encounter. Therefore, this paper is to outline and discuss various examples of the risks. In addition, it will indicate the source of the risk and how the risks are an effect to oil and gas rig. The paper mainly denotes the various sources and risks that emerge from the mechanical and operational environment. This paper entirely is to discuss risks sources associated with oil and gas rigs. Moreover it will be based on mechanical and operational oil risk sources and how they emerge as fatal hazards to manpower and environment.
Oil and gas blowout are a common hazard in mechanical operations. A blowout is the tremendous and uncontrolled emission of crude oil and natural gas from oil wells. This is majorly an influence from the control system failure. There are various causes of oil or gas blowouts in storage or transport of the organic compounds. Surface pressure is a common cause of oil and gas blowout. Oil is a flammable liquid that constitutes complex mixtures of hydrocarbons of diverse weights. Hydrocarbons are lighter than water, and rock, therefore, they move upward through the weak layers of rocks. When they reach the surface, they are trapped within the impermeable rocks. The concentration of the hydrocarbons forms an oil field. The pressures build up within the rocks resulting to oil and gas blowouts (Najafi, 2009, pg. 59). Through the fields, oil can be extracted. However, it is essential to note that blowouts are caused by penetration of reservoirs containing gas or oil. These reservoirs mainly are under high pressures than expected. Considerably, the oil usually catches fire. The risk in oil from blowouts is a liability to damage in the form of pollution, damage of property, and deaths.
In the construction process of risk management on oil and gas rigs, formation fracture of the oil and gas facilities is common. Formation fracturing refers to the process of pumping a liquid into wellbore at a high injection rate. Therefore, formation takes place without breaking. Considerably, during the process of injection there is an increase in resistance to formation. The risk of formation fracture takes place when there is the risk of communication between the hydrocarbon bearing formation and water bearing formation. The risk is guaranteed when both the bearing formations are high. When the formation is fractured, there takes place lost circulation. In addition, hydrostatic pressure in mud drilling decreases (Heidersbach, 2011, pg. 167). This leads to hazardous well difficulties like formation fluid kick flowed from blowout and losing the well. Blowouts are common in oil drilling resulting many injuries and deaths.
Working with rotary drilling system in circulation of oil through the drill pipe can be a source of hazards resulting to workers. Liquid drilling fluids are referred to as drilling mud. They are air, foam or a combination of air and a liquid. Most drilling fluids, specifically drilling mud, can have a diverse range of chemical and physical characteristics. These properties are specifically designed for drilling conditions and the peculiar problems that must be handled in drilling a well. Cooling and lubricant measures are present to counter for the heat generated due to friction. This friction results from the rotating bit against the underlying rock. The drilling fluid lubricates the drilling bit in during oil drilling. However, the rotary drilling system may be of risk to operators in case of cooling and lubricating failure resulting to injuries and damage (Pluvinage, & Elwany, 2008, pg. 161).
Working with chemicals in mechanical operations including oil and gas drilling is a fatal activity. Health monitoring is significant depending on the nature of the various chemicals. These chemicals are mainly added to the drilling fluid as additives. It is beneficial to assess the overlying risks associated with the various chemicals that workers are exposed to in their work. Other chemicals within the workplace are very corrosive and require safety measures such as use of gloves. In addition, some chemicals are readily flammable and catch fire too soon. These kinds of chemicals are to be drawn attention to all workers. Gases are readily flammable and require considerable attention to reduce dangers of explosions. Safety masks and preventive attire to the workers are crucial to their safety. The main source of risk is chemicals, because its interaction with oil in operational activities may result to corrosions. Moreover, fires and explosions are evident.
Moreover, welding, hot work, vibration, noise, and emissions from the mechanical operations in oil drilling are of much impact to the operational process. For instance, hot work that includes all grinding, thermal cutting, heat producing, and spar-producing operations cause oil fires. Welding is associated with fires and explosions, electric shock incidents, heat, ultraviolet radiation, and fumes and gases (Heidersbach, 2011, pg. 133). These are all hazards that impact on the workers. On the other hand, grinding results to sparks vibrations, pneumatics, and disintegration of discs. Upon exposure to oil and other chemicals, explosions and fires are likely to emerge. In mechanical operations such as grinding, noise is a common aspect that affects the working manpower.
Measures of controlling noise is through lubricating mechanical components with oil and wearing noise protective devices. Ear plugs and ear muffs protect hearing and exposure to mechanical noise. Welding gloves are necessary in welding process. Considerably, welding screens erected around the hot work area minimize risks. All regulators and air hoses should be oil free and grease to avoid possible explosions. In addition, welding and hot work on tanks containing oil and toxic chemicals is particularly hazardous. Other factors that result to risks from oil like welding and hot work are worthy of control. Risks emerging from oil not only affect the working personnel but also the entire economy of a state. Work safety in the work place should be observed to reduce risks such as falling of derrick, and accidents from mechanical vibrating operations
In addition, working with high oil pressure pump and the line is of immense risk to the workers and acutely hazardous. High pressure pumps inject oil at high pressures to the oil seals and cylinder walls of the engine. Introduction of oil results to production grey smoke from operational machines. High pressure pumps result to the oil being too hot thus losing its viscosity. When the oil viscosity is too low, there are various problems that are likely to impact. First, there will be wear between the oil seals and the engine. This is because the oil supplied does not hold onto the lubricating areas. Therefore, the gaskets are likely to rear out. Oil lines are an important engine and mechanical components in effective engine operation. At high pressure oil lines are likely to burst and there occur oil leakages. Pressure clamps are hence loss the springing power during operation that leads to loss of oil. Oil spillages on the engine are of exceptional risk. Oil readily catches fire and with the spillages the entire machinery is at the risk of fire (Najafi, 2009, pg. 151).
Working in confined space regarding to oil and oil rigs is exceedingly hazardous. A confined space refers to any space that has limited or restricted exit and entry. These areas can cause an individual trapped by hazardous chemicals and substances. They enhance a harmful atmosphere and are not readily accessible in case of emergence. Introduction of permits is necessary when working in confined areas. In remote areas like oil rigs, the supervisor issues permits in order for the work to be performed. Oil rigs are seriously restricted areas and in most cases cause injuries and deaths. Majority of the workers in the oil rigs ensure that work permits are issued before they start working. Oil rigs are common in the crude oil wells and are a perfect exposure to hazardous effects like collapse and possible fires (Najafi, 2009, pg. 112). Oil rig confined spaces are more fatal than normal confined areas of mechanical operations. Chemicals are oil risk sources that cause asphyxiation. This substance leads to many deaths and injuries. In case of safety, individuals saving people in confined areas should have to use respirators and chemical monitor. This is to reduce or prevent needless accidents.
Falling object from derrick is also a considerable form of accidents in operational and mechanical activities. It involves objects falling from structures in both onshore and offshore. Falling objects are common accidents in especially in loose items left at the high post construction area. Weather damaged items are prone to fall. Various weather elements impact on operational and mechanical components leading to their fall. This is also common on tar deposits when drilling derricks. Corroded fittings including fixtures lack secondary retention. Therefore, they are likely to fall off their operational areas. They pose a risk to the operators and are unusually hazardous. Vibration from mechanical and operating components lead to their loosening. Poor vibration absorption system can lead to falling of mechanical components. Regular inspection thus is necessary to ascertain that all operational components are kept intact to their working positions (Heidersbach, 2011, pg. 144).
The five steps to analyze risk management are much vital in this study. These steps are concerned with risk assessment especially in the mechanical and operational work place. For instance, a hazard is an event or anything that causes harm to people, environment or property loss. A risk denotes the chances, low or high that harm could be encounter an individual from a given hazard and how serious its impact. Risk assessment in the work place enables an individual to assess health and safety measures. A risk assessment is crucial in the fact that, it protects the workers and management including enhancing law. For instance, straight forward measures can be induced to control risks. This can be related to ensuring oil spillages are wiped out promptly to avoid slippery floors. Work force is protected when effectiveness is maintained within operational and mechanical working environment.
Risk assessment is a careful evaluation of the dangers that are likely to arise in the working place. There are five main steps associated with risk analysis.
Step 1: Identify the hazards
Hazards are events or things that cause harm to people or to the environment such as chemical exposure. Identification of hazards within the workplace allows structuring desirable techniques in avoiding possible risks to workers. There are many ways that can be used to identify hazards within working areas. Majorly, an individual should walk around the workplace often since hazards are dynamic and keep changing. This ensures hazards are noted as early as possible. Employees are a core source of information regarding hazards in the work place. This is because they always interact with the operational and mechanical services in the work place. Therefore, they usually encounter these hazards and can readily identify them. Manufacturer instructions on the use of chemicals machines and other operational functions within the workplace are exceptionally crucial. They are a prime source towards identifying possible hazards (Pluvinage, & Elwany, 2008, pg. 187).
Step 2: Deciding who might be harmed and how
Considerably, in each of the hazards identified it is vital to note on who is likely to encounter the hazard. This is an efficient way to manage a risk. People likely to be harmed are identified. For instance, young workers and workers with disabilities may be prone to these hazards. Others like maintenance, visitors, contractors, and workers may not be in the operational workplace at all times. This exposes them to a great risk from hazards. Public members are also of concern from the operational activities.
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
After identifying the hazards, introduction of good practices to the work place is essential. Setting of control measures to the risks to minimize harm is emphasized at this step. In controlling risks, a number of principles are applied. Applications of less risky options, for example, consider using less hazardous chemicals (Sanders, 2005, pg. 104). Prevention of access to the hazard can limit risks. Organize tools and machinery in a systematic manner to avoid exposure to hazards. Oils and other chemicals should be well labeled to avoid confusion in their application. Personal protective equipment and welfare activities are indispensable to minimizing risks (Sun, 2013, pg. 69).
Step 4: recording findings and implementing them
The findings obtained from analyzing the possible risks that are likely to occur in the work place and how they can be contained are worthy recording. Recording the findings allows easy analysis through sharing them with friends and workers. Results are written in a clear logical manner for easy understanding. For instance, exhaust ventilation, wiping oil spills and labeling of chemical storage containers reduces the risk of hazards. Long-term solutions to risks in mechanical and operational activities ensure reliable safety. The findings are only relevant if regular checkups are made to control risks.
Step 5: reviewing the risk assessment and updating it
The operational work place keeps changing. This is because there is an introduction of new equipment, substances and procedures in handling given activities. Therefore, there is a high probability for new hazards to emerge. Reviewing is an ongoing procedure that limits emergence of new hazards that are not prone to the employees. In addition, the changes require desirable improvements if the workers spotted a problem. Significantly, this keeps the risk analysis up to date.
In conclusion, risk analysis is indispensable in protecting workers from various risks and hazards that increase vulnerability. It helps in focusing on possible risks and effective measures to be undertaken. Control measures are at times straightforward. These include cleaning up oil spillages and avoiding welding oil and chemical tanks (Najafi, 2009, pg. 79). There are various risk factors that emerge from oil not only in its mechanical operation, but also due to influence of external sources. Hazards such as fires, explosions, blowouts, sour gas release and spills, and cratering result to substantial damage. The effects are on oil wells, natural gas wells, production equipment and facilities, property, and the environment. Personal injuries and deaths are remarkably common in oil drilling and hot works. In addition, both oil and natural gas production processes are subject to risks related to the operations. Other factors that result to risks from oil like welding and hot work are worthy of control. Work safety in the work place should be observed to reduce risks such as falling of derrick, and accidents from mechanical vibrating operations.