You might have seen at least an oil refinery or two in some National Geographic or Discovery Channel documentaries. You can see those towering structures releasing smoke into the atmosphere. There are also those snaking pipelines that stretch for more than ten miles. You also notice the unforgiving weather that most workers deal with while on the job. So you think to yourself it must be quite a job to work in an oil refinery. But what is it really like?
An oil refinery is a superstructure that converts and refines crude oil into other forms of usable products. Some of these products include the following:
- Heating oil
- And so on
These manufacturing plants play a crucial role in the economy. They are responsible for the production of fuel-related products that power vehicles and other systems and equipment. It is paramount that these oil refineries work around the clock to produce enough petroleum to keep things running smoothly.
But how about the work that happens in such a plant? The job is various. Not only that, but it can be interesting for a bunch of individuals. You will not find a shortage of jobs in an oil refinery. Some of the jobs you can find include the following:
- Mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Civil engineer
- Firefighter (limited)
- Control specialist
- Quality analyst
- Heavy vehicle operator
- Human resources specialist
- And so much more
Work in an oil refinery does not stop once the clock hand hits five at that clock. Workers must continue working to keep the plant running. An oil refinery takes days to power up. That means profit depends on the workflow that happens after all systems are up and running. So if they want to make any money at all, there is pressure on workers.
Work time can also be unpredictable. An individual must also face rotating shifts, night shifts, and a lot of unexpected call-outs. You might have to get up during your rest days. You will have to fill for someone sick or absent. You might also have to when things suddenly go awry or during emergencies.
Not only that, but oil refineries also keep running during special occasions and holidays. That means workers must sacrifice family bonding time to have something for their paychecks.
Oil refineries are also notorious for not being safe at all. You can expect an accident or two to happen each week. That still occurs regardless of the safety protocols and measures running. Here are some of the accidents that can be present in a refinery:
Fire is the most common accident that happens in most oil refineries. Since the work process involves highly-flammable oil, you can expect the fire to be a thing. Almost all the aspects of oil refinery work can cause a fire or two.
The next on the list would be explosions. Like fire, blasts occur a lot in most oil refineries. Some of them are not that catastrophic. Workers can contain small-scale explosions. But things can get dangerous fast once huge explosions rock a portion of an oil refinery.
- Acid-related incidents
Workers also work on plant sectors where acid is present. They are more at risk of suffering from acid-related conditions. They will have to deal with toxic materials and other hazardous compounds.
- Air pollution
Air pollution is another thing that workers must face. The towering stacks produce pollution that individuals can inhale. It can be grave once workers inhale these airborne compounds regularly.
Things might not always be the nicest once you work in an oil refinery. An accident or two might happen to you during one of your workdays. It is your employer’s responsibility to keep you safe and secure. They must check on you as you get on with your daily work. You can take legal action if they refuse to do so. You can get in touch with a lawyer for assistance. You can check online with a law firm if it is not available in your area. It is easy to locate Houston oil refinery explosion lawyers. That is thanks to the internet.
It is also your right to contact a lawyer to check your work environment’s occupational safety and hazard regulations and policies. You can do so if you want to avoid any injuries and other conditions. A lawyer is also a decent choice if you have other trivial questions about how your work goes in such an environment.
The bottom line is that working in an oil refinery is interesting and rewarding. But that means you will have to deal with physical labor and a lot of other factors that make up a regular shift. Oil refinery work pays off a lot, but unfortunately, it is not for everyone.