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The work

The variables (exposures) potentially related to the motor-vehicle related fatalities in the oil and gas industry are related to the type of work being done, personal characteristics of the workers, and the environment in which the work is being performed (physical and sociocultural).


An example of a job posting from an oil company is found in Table 1 below. You can see that the oil and gas industry is targeting laborers who are willing to put in many hours per week, and transportation-related jobs are in high demand.

Table 1.pdf

The nature of the work is laborsome and overtime is encouraged (10). Oftentimes field workers work strenuous hours for days on end which can lead risk factors for injuries. The oil and gas companies have been drilling about 1,000 wells per year, and it takes about seventy-four companies to drill one well. The types of workers in high demand are workers to run the rigs, drivers to carry product and equipment, technical workers and all of the support jobs that spin off from oil and gas (11).

Working long hours is associated with more workplace hazard exposure and less time to be healthy outside of work. For example when there is less time to sleep, recover from work, and spend time with family and other non-work responsibilities, workers can experience fatigue, stress, negative mood, discomfort, pain, and decrements in functioning, not to mention having less time to exercise and prepare nutritious diet (12). Stress is associated with increased alcohol and tobacco use, which poses additional health threats. These negative effects trickle into the worker's social and family life, potentially causing marital and/or child-rearing problems. The economic implications on a community level have the potential to be catastrophic (12). For those workers who are responsible for driving vehicles to transport product and equipment between worksites, these stressors can potentially be life-threatening.

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