After fracturing the entire well, workers decrease the pressure at the wellhead and drill out the isolation plugs. A mixture of fracturing fluid and gas or oil flows back out of the well through flow lines into pits or tanks.
Hydraulic Fracturing Hazards
- Struck by high pressure lines
- Fires and explosions
- Inhaling hazardous gases or vapors
- Exposure to high noise levels
Hydraulic Fracturing Solutions
- Direct all non-essential personnel to stay clear of the work zone.
- Follow procedures to release trapped pressure safely.
- Ground and bond tanks used to hold flowback fluid (also known as frac tanks).
- Route flowback fluid through a gas buster system.
- Use wood gauges to monitor fluid volume in frac tanks.
- Use monitors with lower explosive limits to warn of the presence of flammable gases.
- Wear proper personal protective equipment, such as respiratory, skin and hearing protection, as appropriate for the hazards present.
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Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration © 2012, 2015, 2017 Zywave, Inc. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.