Fueling Ergonomics in the Oil and Gas Industry

04-02-2022 Aesthetix

An underrated yet extremely important facet of working in the oil & gas industry is the ergonomics of it all. It is sufficient to say that ergonomics plays an important role in any industry and sector. And for the oil & gas industry in particular, employee wellbeing factors into the productivity and profitability aspects in a much bigger way.

The need for fuelling ergonomics in the oil & gas industry stems from the various risks and concerns that workers face. There are several risks that contribute to ergonomic risks in the oil & gas industry such as:

Confined spaces - Workers are required to put themselves in restrained and confined spaces for drilling, excavating and other related activities. This puts them at risk of asphyxiation and exposure to hazardous chemicals, not to mention claustrophobia and associated stress as well.

Ergonomic risks - Workers will be required to lift heavy objects, operate large machinery and pull bulky loads on a regular basis, which puts them at risk for bodily injury and harm. Having improper safety precautions and gear in place would also be a factor in aggravating ergonomic risks.

Musculoskeletal risks - Being exposed to confined spaces and subsequent hunching and bending leads to improper posture. This puts severe strain on the musculoskeletal system.

In addition to the above risks, workers in the oil & gas industry also have to battle erratic working schedules, hot and humid weather conditions and long working hours, all of which contribute to chronic fatigue, backaches, injuries, sleep disorders, upper body pain, mental stress and so on.

All these factors have pushed for the need for fuelling ergonomics in the oil & gas industry for the workers in a significant way. Up until recently managers were not aware or did not have the resources and institutional support to implement ergonomics in the workplace for the oil & gas industry. With the growing realization that workers deserve an injury free and safe workplace and the introduction of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) codes around the world, the oil & gas industry too has taken strides forward in ensuring ergonomics in the work environment. Managers have also become aware of the positive impacts in productivity and efficiency that have been fostered by improved ergonomics. 

In light of the above, let us take a look at various initiatives that can be implemented to improve the ergonomic factors in the oil & gas industry:

  • Establishment of safety signs and cautionary boards in the workplace at all prominent places in a language that workers can understand and comprehend.
  • Use ergonomic principles in designing the equipment and tools of the workplace.
  • Provide adequate training to workers on how to observe ergonomics in handling heavy machinery and tools.
  • Use ergonomic layouts in designing control rooms with an emphasis on functionality and comfort as well as reduced human errors.
  • Establish ergonomic policies and procedures and ensure that they are diligently followed.
  • Ensure workers fully understand the risks, are given appropriate training at all times and that they adhere to OSH guidelines.

Keeping all this in mind, it would be ideal for oil & gas companies around the world to establish ergonomic guidelines and practices in their functioning, right from the planning stage. By incorporating ergonomics at the initial stage itself, you will be able to devise and draw up design plans, policies and implement the same in a much easier and efficient manner. 

We, Aesthetix have always considered human factor engineering and ergonomics in the workplace as the basis for efficiency. By understanding human behaviour and creating workplace norms that cater to those needs in the most optimum way possible, we have created solutions and devised systems that have transformed the oil & gas sector in unfathomable ways. Our tools and processes are designed to meet customer needs and contribute to efficiency, sustainability and ergonomics in the most cost effective way, which has been the USP of our success so far.

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