Injury incidents caused by office chair racing have been on a steady climb in recent years.

CALGARY, Alberta – In Canada, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported the Oil & Gas injury rate is seven times greater than the rate for all other Canadian industries combined. Health Canada determined that “during 2005-2019, the number of work-related injuries in the oil and gas extraction industry increased by 35.8%, with a total of 3,792 hospitalizations over that same period.

The International Labour Organization also released a report in January 2020 that found “the challenge for the oil and gas industry is to be able to quickly and effectively respond to potentially dangerous situations before injury incidents occur.”

Let’s explore a number of incidents you should not overlook in the Oil & Gas industry.

Vehicle Accidents
Driving to pipelines, pumping stations, gas sites, or to and from work in the field can be dangerous, but that’s not where the majority of injury incidents happen. According to the Alberta Health and Safety Board, the vast majority of vehicle incidents happen inside head offices. Case in point, between March 2020 and December 2021, the Calgary EMS reported on average 77 serious injuries per week related to office chair racing. “During this time, when offices weren’t very busy due to the pandemic, some employees took it upon themselves to race their office chairs down empty hallways and stair wells. And guess what? You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes,” said lead EMS first responder with the downtown unit, Annie Position.

Chemical Exposures
Do chemicals injure people in the field? Of course. But do they also harm people at head office settings? No question. The National Health Board indicates that office chemical exposures have been on the steady rise since 2019 Q2, with most of the incidents related to office coffee. The group claims that 13 out of 20 staff members have reported becoming ill shortly after consuming the 4 api office coffee commonplace in downtown settings. Another chemical exposure that has seen a two-fold increase in incidents year-over-year 2020 to 2021 is the direct inhalation of the Chanel perfume worn by the office “Barbera.”

Ben N. Syder, P.Eng., sustaining an chemical injury at Bendovus in late 2021.

Struck-By, Caught-In & Caught-Between
The Alberta Institute for Occupational Health and Safety recently reported reports that three out of every five “on-site injuries in the oil and gas extraction industry are the result of struck-by/caught-in/caught-between hazards.” But the report failed to consider these sorts of incidents that occur in head office environments where the hazards take on a completely different meaning. In a scathing report by the Association of Oil and Gas Head Office Behavioral Studies, a whopping 79% of office staff claim to have been struck-by a co-worker for making unsolicited advances in office kitchens. Sixty-four per cent have reported being caught-between an office romance with 2 partners that has caused physical harm along with emotional damage that have lasted for months, if not years. As for caught-in incidents, let’s just say that it typically involves a member of senior management engaging in inappropriate dealings with the executive administrator intern.

Do you have the right procedures in place to send an emergency response to your oil and gas personnel when an incident occurs? If not, please reach out to 2P News safety hotline at 555-9945 and we’ll help level-up your safety game.



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