Why Is Winter Weather More Dangerous For Oilfield Workers?

Winter Weather

Winter Weather

According to National Center for Health Statistics, cold temperatures are more dangerous for oilfield workers than summer. The survey shows that about 2,000 Americans die from weather-related causes yearly. 60% of deaths are caused due to exposure to cold, while 30% are due to hot weather. Contact a New Mexico Oilfield accident lawyer if you are injured in an oilfield accident.

Why is winter weather more dangerous for oilfield workers?

Wet weather and low air temperatures can cause cold stress to workers. This term defines various cold-related injuries caused to exposure to cold temperatures, including frostbite and hypothermia. 

Oilfield workers are exposed to cold weather, especially the ones working in offshore drilling rigs in extreme weather areas like the Arctic and North Atlantic. Cold weather affects oilfield workers in the following ways:

  • Hypothermia and frostbite

Workers may develop hypothermia and frostbite due to prolonged exposure to cold weather. These conditions cause damage to the skin and other tissues which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately and adequately. 

  • Reduce dexterity

Cold temperatures make it difficult for oilfield workers to perform tasks that require manual dexterity. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries on the rig.

  • Equipment malfunction

Low temperatures cause equipment to malfunction, leading to operational issues and delays. In some cases, equipment failure can also pose a safety risk to workers.

  • Reduced visibility

Cold weather often causes fog, mist, and snow, reducing the rig’s visibility. This condition increases the risk of accidents and makes it difficult for workers to complete their task. 

  • Slippery surfaces

Cold temperatures cause surfaces to freeze, making them slippery and hazardous for workers. This increases the risk of slips, trips, and falls, which can cause serious injuries.

  • Fatigue and stress

Working in cold weather can be stressful and exhausting for oilfield workers, leading to increased fatigue and decreased productivity.

Cold-weather gear for workers


Proper cold-weather gear is important for workers working in freezing weather. Following are some of the cold-weather gear necessary for workers:

  • Warm clothing

Three layers of clothing are always necessary for workers working in extremely cold weather. 

  • Face covering

Mask and other face-covering equipment should be worn to protect the workers’ mouth and face from the exposure to extreme cold.

  • Head covering

Keeping the ears and head is essential for staying safe in cold weather. Headcover guards against the cold and maintain heat. 

  • Gloves

Gloves are essential to keep the workers’ fingers and hands working with volatile substances, heavy machinery, and powerful machines.

  • Reflective gear

Visibility is essential while working in oilfield areas. In freezing weather, visibility is greatly reduced, making it hard for workers to work.

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