This is a drilling rig. It makes deep holes in the ground, sometimes more than a mile deep (there are 5,280 feet in a mile). RIGS ARE VERY DANGEROUS. PEOPLE ARE KILLED ON DRILLING RIGS EVERY YEAR. The rig can be as tall as a three-story building and the work area is often slick from oil. You could slip and fall from it and either suffer serious injuries or death.
S L U S H P I T This is a slush pit. A slush, or “mud” pit is a dugout hole lined with plastic or concrete. It holds the waste material from drilling. This material can dry out on the surface, making it appear it’s safe to walk on. It’s not. Children have fallen into it and been drowned or burned by the chemicals in the material.
FRAC TANK Frac Tanks hold fluid used in the drilling of some wells. They can also be used to hold the material you would usually find in a mud pit. Sometimes they are totally enclosed, and sometimes they have no tops. The material in frac tanks can be extremely poisonous and give off very dangerous fumes. Even when they are “empty,” the small amount of left-over material can kill you by suffocation.
A Pump Jack (or “pumping unit”)pumps the oil out of the ground. Even if they are not moving, they are dangerous. Many are on automatic timers, and will come on without warning. Pump jacks come in many different sizes. They look like playground equipment, so some children are attracted to them and are injured or killed. Pump jacks use huge weights to work. These weights have crushed children, including here in Oklahoma, who were playing around or even on the pump jacks.
Pipelines carry oil or natural gas from one location to another. Pipelines sometimes corrode and leak. These leaks can kill you. People, including children, have been killed when there has been a spark and the leak exploded. PIPELINES If you see something that looks like a pipeline leak, STAY AWAY and tell an adult.
STORAGE TANKS Storage tanks are used to hold oil, natural gas, or saltwater. Many people, especially children, have died because they ignored the dangers posed by storage tanks. You can be killed by the fumes from a storage tank, or an explosion. Any spark around a storage tank can cause an explosion. In Oklahoma, 2 boys died because they were playing with fireworks around a storage tank. 3 others were killed while playing at a storage tank when it exploded – the cause was never found. Another boy was killed playing near a storage tank when it was struck by lightning.
Storage tank with WINDSOCK When you see a storage tank with a windsock, you should be especially careful to stay far away from it, and keep yourself so the wind is blowing from you toward the tank. The windsock is there to show which way the wind is blowing. It means the tank is filled with material that, if it leaks, can give off potentially deadly fumes that can kill you if the wind blows them toward you in a great enough concentration.