March 2, 2009

Sample Research Proposal on Health and Safety in Oil and Gas Industry


            It has been reported that over the last one hundred years, oil and natural gas have emerged as two of the most sought after energy sources in the world, and although alternate fuel sources continue to be tested and developed, oil and gas are still in great demand in both industrialized and developing countries, alike (Markussen 2006, p. 1). In relation to this need, being involved in working offshore are the risk of health and safety in the field. Some of that risk is monetary, as is required for actual exploration or production, transportation, refining and marketing of products, while others are on a more personal level, as those being the safety and health hazards to the employees and contractors conducting the work, the communities surrounding the workplace and the environment in which we all live (Markussen 2006, p. 1). Due to these, this proposal aims to evaluate the implemented health and safety measures of many oil and gas industries in preventing disasters from happening, and evaluate the effectiveness of these precautionary measures. It also aims to examine the diseases being acquired by the employees and contractors from prolonged exposure to chemicals and from the environment as well.


Literature Overview

            Health and safety is a key element of both industry and working standards, such as in the oil, gas and petroleum industries, for they operate in dangerous environments and deal with extremely hazardous products ('Oil, Gas and Petroleum: As It Is' 2006). It is therefore essential to ensure that workers within this industry are highly trained in dealing with health and safety issues, not only for their own protection, but, most importantly, for that of the general public ('Oil, Gas and Petroleum: As It Is' 2006). This is to prevent disasters, such as what happened in the Piper Alpha accident in 1988. In addition, food-borne and waterborne diseases, and diseases resulting from prolonged exposure to chemicals and metals cause many companies to take action.



            Two studies related to oil and gas industries will be evaluated, namely the study made by Hull and his colleagues in 2002, studying the present conditions of the survivors of the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster, and the Health Watch Study in Australia since the 1980s regarding the diseases acquired by the employees of the Australian petroleum industry. From these studies, the existing precautionary measures will be evaluated and given emphasis.



            The significance of this proposal is to evaluate the effects and the risks in working in an oil and gas industry. This would examine the results of the studies presented and the applicability of the laws and regulations being implemented to alleviate the adverse effects of working in the industry. It would also evaluate the diseases acquired to properly implement treatment for information and education.  

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