Warning: These Oil and Gas Injuries are Hurting Your Bottom Line

Haley Bass

For employers in the oil and gas industry, work-related injuries can end up costing a lot of money, especially when considering medical bills, lost productivity, temporary replacements, and more. Knowing which injury types are costing your company the most, and learning how to prevent them, will reduce your injury risks and boost your bottom line.

High Costs Per Claim

The costliest injury in the oil and gas industry is multiple trauma, meaning several injuries were sustained in one accident. This usually means multiple broken bones as the result of a fall, car accident, or being struck by an object. Although multiple trauma injuries aren’t too common, when they do happen, they put a big hole in your wallet.

Multiple trauma injuries can cost an average of $97,100 per claim.

The second costliest injury in the oil and gas industry is dislocation, or the displacement of one or more bones at a joint. These typically happen in the shoulder when workers are trying to stop a fall, or in the ankle, thumb, and finger joints.

Dislocation injuries can cost an average of $50,000 per claim.

For the most part, multiple trauma and dislocation injuries can be prevented with better fall protection. This can include guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems. Falls can also be prevented by keeping work areas well-lit and clear of clutter, and ensuring that workers are wearing proper footwear with good traction.

More Claims, More Problems

Although sprains and strains don’t cost as much per claim, they account for 26% of injuries in the oil and gas industry. At an average cost of $17,000 per claim and 57 missed work days, that dollar amount can easily keep growing.

Sprains (the tearing or stretching of ligaments) and strains (the tearing or stretching of muscles or tendons) can be caused by a single event, like a fall, or from ongoing misuse/overuse of the tissue. Sprains and strains can most easily be prevented through ergonomics and pre-placement testing.

Ergonomics simply means adjusting the workspace to fit the worker. Employers can prevent injuries by taking simple steps to ensure that workers aren’t having to reach too far for tools, sit in a space that’s too small, or repeat the same motion for too long. With a worksite evaluation and analysis from an ergonomic specialist (usually a physical therapist), a few adjustments can make a huge difference in the number of sprains and strains in your workplace.

Pre-placement testing helps the employer know whether a potential hire is physically fit for the essential functions of the job. If a potential hire is unable to complete the physical tests, then an employer may be avoiding a serious injury down the road by not extending the worker past his abilities.

Regardless of the type of injury or how much is costs, your top priority is keeping your workforce safe. If you’d like to learn more about how Concentra can keep your workers safe and healthy, contact one of our workforce health experts.