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The Roles and Responsibilities of an Employer in an Oil Field

Oil Field Worker

In the oil field, employers have specific roles and responsibilities that are not outlined in any standard. These include conducting location searches, delegating safety responsibilities to other individuals, and inspecting equipment for compliance. 

Having an employer or assigning students an employer is a critical part of the oil industry education process: it is the first step in understanding what to expect from those supervising students in field activities. At the same time, employers must plan for safe field experiences by identifying risks associated with different activities and readying strategies to address them appropriately.

Here are five roles and responsibilities of an oil field employer:

1. Job Evaluation

An employer should include student orientation and completion of the pre-hire form. The pre-hire form is a basic overview of an employer’s expectations, including safety concerns, equipment, and training. It is also useful for helping an employer determine whether the student has performed satisfactorily in previous oil field activities.

2. Employee Classification

There are two types of roles in an oil field industry: employees and contractors. An employer should be careful to classify students as employees or contractors because the classification affects aspects of compensation, work habits, and how employees’ rights are protected.

3. Safety Orientation

An employer should plan for safety training that addresses all field crew members, including students and employees. Orientation includes:

Identifying potential hazards.

Training on methods for dealing with those hazards.

Presenting the procedures for keeping track of identified hazards.

The employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment and ensuring that all equipment employees use complies with safety guidelines. The employer must also ensure the safety of students who are part of the crew, whether employees or contractors. All employees have the right to file a claim if the employer fails to provide a safe workplace, so employers must know how to respond in those situations.

4. Inspection

An employer is responsible for ensuring that company equipment meets federal standards regarding safety and environmental impact and is required to inspect its equipment regularly. The employer must inspect all equipment annually to ensure that it complies with applicable laws. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are placed on drilling rigs and inspected every 30 days. Students can help with this process by having them submit a written report to the employer and conducting an inspection of their own.

5. Communication

Many organizations have safety committees that can help employers and students define procedures to follow in case of a safety incident and discuss how to confront unsafe behavior on the job safely. Those committees can also identify other ways to improve communication among employees, contractors, and students. Safety meetings should occur weekly for every crew member, based on their particular role in the field.

Conclusion

The oil field is an inherently hazardous environment. Employees have the right to file complaints regarding supervisors’ or employers’ noncompliance with state or federal safety regulations. When injured while working in an oil field, you can also count on the help of an experienced attorney who can handle all aspects of your claim, from filing a case to litigating a settlement to recovering any uninsured losses.


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