New Tech Protects the Health of Oil and Gas Industry Workers

oil and gas industry

Our oil and gas industry workers need protection from lung fibrosis caused by recurrent inhalation of sand particles. Based on a 2012 study conducted by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the hydraulic fracturing workers are susceptible to an incurable but preventable disease called Silicosis. In fact, the workers in Colorado and other states are already exposed to dust silica levels that exceed the proposed exposure limits.

As part of the oil and gas industry, it is our duty to respond to this alarming case of health problem. Many companies have already changed their methods of handling frack sand, but others simply do not have the means to do so. Fortunately, a new innovation has a technological fix to protect workers and to boost business efficiency at the same time. This new tech will not only improve operations but also increase the workers’ protection.

New businesses are using a dust filtration system and gravity-fed system, SandBox, which reduce community complaints and cuts down on noise. Compared to traditional pneumatic systems, they complete unloading faster and need fewer people to operate. In the end, it allows businesses to cut down on their operation costs while protecting their men. With the health benefits on workers that these systems deliver, it is not far that they will become industry standards.

How do they work?
At the sand mine, containers are loaded and stacked using specially-designed SandBox rail cars until they are ready for transport, allowing fully mobile trans-loading and accessible storage. Then, the sand or proppant can be staged until ready for use or delivered directly to the wellsite using a lightweight chassis and fewer tractors. Lastly, the SandBox containers are loaded onto a single SandBox cradle to directly deliver the sand to the blender hopper. The entire process reduces the amount of dust released into the air.

The Threat is Real!
The US Government was already aware of the dangers of inhaling silica and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration set the standards for limiting exposure. Besides Silicosis, silica can cause other respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer and tuberculosis. With this knowledge, we need to work harder to protect the oil and gas industry workers by employing stricter standards.

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Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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