With the national downturn, beginning mid-2014, of the oil & gas industry and the associated reduction in workforce by 50% to 60% (anecdotally), and now in 2017 and 2018, the slow resurgence of the industry, we will now require a build-up of the workforce. Many of those workers will be workers new to the industry as those that were in the industry will not return to the oil & gas industry. The general feeling is that many workers will not return due to the volatility of the industry. The story is the workers came to the industry in the boom of 2009 to 2014 and then were laid off. They found jobs or returned to jobs in a more stable industry, such as construction or manufacturing, so now they are not interested in coming back to a volatile job nor are their families interested in the return to a volatile industry where a family member could lose their source of income because of many factors that the worker cannot control, such as the price of oil and the factors that affect the price of oil.

With the influx of new employees to the oil & gas industry, there needs to be a robust program in which to train the new workers to control and keep the number of workplace injuries low, since new employees historically make up as a significant number of the total number of workplace injuries. This may be done with a well-developed Short Service Employee (SSE) Program that is adhered to.

Short Service Employee (SSE) Definition

A Short Service Employee is defined, generally, in one of two methods. The first definition is an employee with less than six months of continuous employment with their present employer (API RP 76, Appendix C, 2007). The second definition is that of an employee with less than six months' experience in their assigned job with this definition (Texas Oil & Gas Association (TxOGA) Oil & Gas Roundtable, March 2015).


Published statistics bear out the fact that 65 percent of fatalities occurred within first year of service (employment) and, of those, 34 percent of fatalities occurred within first three months of service (employment). Besides fatalities, the statistics show that "…30 to 40% of injured workers have been on the job less than a year." (BLR Workplace Safety News, May 2015).

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