The Bakken Oilfield, Fail of the Day is a Facebook group that posts a Bakken oilfield related picture of the day. Some are funny, involving dirty Porta-Potties and such, but most are more grim and morbid, involving highway accidents and overturned heavy equipment. The anonymous author of Bakken Fail of the Day operates it as a public service to remind people to be safe on the roads and to stop criminals.
I think BFOTD is a good thing because it can stop us from being complacent. It features real pictures of often gruesome highway accidents, but it can be a stark reminder to keep our eyes on the road, drive at a safe speed, and keep rested.
One thing that bothers me about BFOTD is the commenters that take it upon themselves to rant about how careless and stupid other people are. They show a lack of compassion for the family and friends who may have just died or been horribly injured by doing this.
What really bothers me is the smugness of people who judge the actions of people whose bodies are still warm. They think they are untouchable, above it all. Nothing could be more pigheaded.
Oilfield work is INHERENTLY DANGEROUS. That’s a way of saying there is a chance of getting hurt no matter how safe you try to be, no matter how perfectly you follow the rules.
We all work long hours, and it is easy to let your attention slip for a moment. Equipment fails at unexpected times. Other workers make mistakes.
Corners are cut in the oilfield. Less corners that the good old days (or bad old days, depending on who you talk to), but still. I try to be a by the books guy since I run a crew, but I still take a shortcut sometimes. The point is, everyone does once in a while. So why are these fools second guessing their fellow workers? I hate the macho tough guy attitude of “it can’t happen to me.”
It can happen to you. Be careful out there. Make your peace with your God(s). Get the best insurance you can afford. Make sure your loved ones would be ok if you had an accident.
I’ve worked quite a few dangerous places, in the military, on ships, in the high mountains, etc. and I suppose every man has to mentally be a little bit “above it all.” Knowing that you are just as vulnerable to the whims of fate can be too much to think about; still, we need to be kinder in our judgements of people who are making fatal mistakes in the oilfield.
As the Romans said: “Speak no ill of the dead.” They can’t defend themselves.