Oil and gas

In-vehicle technologies may make oil and gas workers safer, NIOSH says

rigs/oil field

Photo: westphalia/iStockphoto

Washington – In-vehicle monitoring systems combined with supervisory coaching could help reduce risky driving behaviors among workers in the oil and gas industry, in which motor vehicle-related incidents are the leading cause of death, according to NIOSH.

Research epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer L. Bell outlined her findings Nov. 10 during a webinar sponsored by NIOSH and the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.

Researchers collected and analyzed data from 144 in-vehicle monitoring systems as part of the study. The systems included accelerometers to monitor vehicle performance, as well as video cameras capable of capturing images inside and outside the vehicle.

The proportion of risky driving behaviors among oil and gas workers included:

  • Speeding: 47 percent
  • Distractions (smoking, eating, drinking): 19 percent
  • Driving without wearing a safety belt: 16 percent
  • Unsafe stopping: 7 percent
  • Handheld device use: 6 percent
  • Fatigue: 3 percent
  • Vehicle control: 1 percent
  • Other: 1 percent

Bell noted an overall decline in risky driving behaviors during the course of the study. She said organizations that introduce an in-vehicle safety program would benefit most by including all stakeholders before the rollout. She also advised using new safety technologies to reinforce policies already in place rather than introducing new policies in conjunction with the rollout.