HSE ground zero

Health and safety concerns are as old as the petroleum industry itself (see related special report beginning on p. 66). Working in the very early oil fields was a dangerous affair, and wooden derricks, makeshift tools, and poorly trained workers were a safety mix made in you-know-where.The work was not only hard on the men, it was hard on the environment. The countryside was stripped of trees to build derricks, and "gushers" left seas of oil soaking the ground and running into streams and rivers. In the country's rapid expansion, there was still a sort of "take-it-and-move-on" attitude towards natural resources.That way of doing business, of course, is long gone. Great pains are now t...

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