Employment Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry
Employment opportunities in the Petroleum industry are opening up, after a number of years of depressed marketplaces. In Canada, there are remarkable number of lucrative jobs as the Oil and Gas Industry is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer and exporter. Canada has natural gas and oil deposits under the surfaces of its territories and provinces.
Growth in the American markets project up to 1.3 million job opportunities by 2025 in the oil & natural gas and petrochemical industries. Therefore, the North American market will have a growing demand for Oil and Gas professionals, such as project managers, derrick-hands, rig hands, gas plant operators and petroleum engineers.
Safety Training Requirements
Oil and gas companies have strict requirements for employees, including safety training. The industry’s high-risk activities make it vital to provide comprehensive safety training to employees. Companies use a mix of classroom and e-learning to meet their training needs. These programs should be comprehensive and effective. In the USA a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) is essential to keep them updated and relevant. In Canada, typical training for safety involves current certification in WHMIS, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, H2S Alive, Fire Extinguishment, CSO (Common Safety Orientation), Standard first aid with CPR C/AED, Aerial Work Platform, Ground Disturbance, Rigging and Slinging, Confined Space and Fall Protection, depending on the job role.
Oil and gas workers are naturally exposed to highly flammable and toxic substances, as well as enormous pressure that increases the risk of an explosion. As a result, workers have suffered from second-, third-, and fourth-degree burns, spinal cord injuries, and even amputation. Toxic fumes have also caused serious health problems, and even cancer. No industry is free of risks, but oil and gas companies who invest in training their employees can reduce accidents and injuries in the workplace. Behavior, fit for duty and codes of practice requirements are put in place to control the risks. Workers will require training, rescue and emergency response practice, respirators and fit tests, gas monitors and bump testing, hygiene practices, no smoking rules and use of personal protective equipment on site. Site specific training, hazard assessments, work permitting, and communication will be underlined at various sites.
The oil and gas industry has partnered with OSHA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to improve workplace safety. Together, the two organizations have launched SafeLandUSA, a standardized safety orientation program for onshore oil and gas workers. To date, more than 875,000 students have successfully completed this training program. In Canada, Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) has provincial standards and the Canada labor code for Federal legal requirements.
Generally, new hires are required to take a safety orientation. The Canadian orientations tend to be CSTS, CSO (Common Safety Orientation) or PCST (Pipeline Construction Safety Training) online or classroom based. It typically involves a PowerPoint presentation and videos that show what to expect on the job. They are also required to sign forms indicating they have read the safety manual and understand the company’s safety policies. Many companies will also have a Job Safety Analysis form on their website that employees should fill out and sign to demonstrate their understanding of the company’s safety policies.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics has not yet released data on injuries and fatalities, there are some positive signs in the industry’s safety practices. Nonfatal injuries fell by nearly fifteen percent from 2012 to 2013, which is lower than the national average in the USA. Using emergency response plans is an important aspect of the industry’s safety commitments.
The Oil and Gas industry has many opportunities for people with safety training. The Short Service Employee (SSE) program, for example, allows companies to promote safety among new employees, temporary employees, and subcontractors. The program also helps companies add flexibility to their workforce.
How Field Experience affects Oil Employment
Oil employment opportunities are impacted by the level of field experience in the oil and gas industry. This type of job requires a great deal of flexibility and time away from home. In many cases, entry into this field is through an apprenticeship scheme. In depth job training is provided during this period.
There are various ways to obtain oil and gas experience, including working in a major oil company. Although this experience does not necessarily translate directly into higher-level positions, it is beneficial for gaining valuable industry knowledge. In addition, employers will be more likely to consider a candidate with some oil and gas experience for supervisory positions.
Oil field jobs are physically demanding, requiring long hours, lifting heavy equipment, and exposure to high temperatures. Some companies provide housing to their workers. In addition, some offshore oil rigs hire workers for contracted periods of time and then return them home at the end of the contract. In either case, the candidate should have strong physical health.
Oil and gas companies are often short of qualified applicants. This is due to a number of reasons, including the lack of hands-on technical training and a lack of experience. Companies are increasingly looking for individuals with more than a two-year degree and several years of practical experience in the industry. Many community colleges and technical schools offer oil and gas training programs, but enrollment has been relatively low. As a result, graduates may struggle to secure a position without additional work experience. Due to demographics noting a smaller population of zoomers and millenials and upcoming retirement of baby boomers and elders, the labor market has become much more stressed in obtaining enough workers with experience.
As a result of these factors, the OG&C industry is trying to hire more graduates, but it is also concerned about the decline in demand for specialists. This is a worrying sign since the retirement of many experienced workers results in accumulative loss of knowledge. It is important to strike the right balance between the new and the tenured workforce.
Many major companies are offering retraining programs for workers who want to transition to renewable technologies. However, many renewable technologies do not require any prior experience.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Drug and alcohol testing is a necessary part of the oil and gas industry. This USA industry spends $6 billion annually on health and safety and uses drug testing to prevent workplace accidents. The testing program is designed to keep workers and contractors safe, while ensuring their compliance with safety guidelines. Over 1.7 million employees work in the oil and gas industry. In Canada, testing is allowed prior to hiring, and has strict requirements for retesting.
Although not required by law, oil and gas companies will often require new employees to submit to a drug and alcohol test before they are hired. This practice is legal and allows employers to eliminate potential problems associated with employee drug use. Furthermore, because oil and gas jobs require a high level of safety, employers can deny employment to any employee who tests positive for drugs or alcohol.
In addition to the heightened risk of occupational injury and illness, oil and gas workers are also exposed to hazardous environmental conditions and long working hours. Additionally, oil and gas workers often spend long periods away from their families. This means that employers must implement rigorous health and safety programs and effectively manage welfare in the workplace. Drug and alcohol testing in the oil and gas industry is essential for ensuring safety and protecting the reputation of the industry.
While many companies provide notice to employees when they test positive for drugs or alcohol, many offer the opportunity to undergo rehabilitation and return to work under probationary conditions. While this option is not legally required in Texas, federal law does not require employers to offer a second chance to drug test employees. Oftentimes, companies will offer a “last chance” agreement that requires monthly random tests and a year of probation for any employee that tests positive a second time.
Drug and alcohol testing policies should clearly define who is covered and how often employees will be tested. They should also clearly explain disciplinary consequences for violations. The policy should be clearly communicated to all employees.
Personal Protective Equipment
Oil and gas workers work in hazardous environments and need to be protected by personal protective equipment (PPE). Oil and gas workers are exposed to a wide range of corrosive, flammable, and explosive chemicals. However, safety measures have improved significantly over the years.
Oil and gas companies must provide proper PPE and train their employees on how to use it. They also need to conduct annual inspections to assess safety hazards and evaluate PPE needs. PPE may not be a necessity in all situations, but it can help improve comfort and safety.
PPE includes protective clothing and equipment. Properly fitting PPE can protect workers from chemicals, flying debris, and extreme temperatures. Many PPE products are available in the market, but workers must be familiar with the different types to choose the right one for the situation. Fit testing for respirators and being clean shaven, a ban on hoodies, and loose clothing, and flame-resistant coveralls may be established on site.
Aside from PPE, employees must be equipped with proper eye protection. Workers in the oil and gas industry can be exposed to hazardous liquids and gases, particulate matter, and harmful light radiation. To protect their eyes, workers must wear safety glasses with side shields. Other types of PPE may include impermeable goggles and face shields.
In addition to PPE, oil rig workers must be able to handle heavy equipment. Many of them are on elevated equipment, like derrick hands. OSHA requires PPE for those working at heights. This may involve harness training, engineers anchor points and fall arrest and rescue equipment such as Self Retracting Lifelines and Tripods. This means that the safety of oil rig workers is paramount.
Workers need to wear steel-toe boots. These types of shoes are incredibly important to protect the feet from injuries. In Canada, CSA standards for ppe are the standard. Fortunately, they can be purchased inexpensively. These PPE are essential to the oil and gas industry. They also protect the hands from dirt, splinters, and abrasions. Additionally, employees must wear protective gloves to protect their hands from heat, dirt, and chemical exposure. Some companies provide the ppe, but check with various employers to determine what might not be provided when a new hire enters the worksite.
While PPE may be a part of a person’s daily life, it is important to consider the safety aspects of the industry. In addition to wearing PPE, employees must know how to use it properly. They must also be trained to use it safely. Donning a fall protection harness, tie off points on an elevated work platform, and checking the fit of a self contained breathing apparatus take training and discipline,