© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Working on an oil rig is one of the most stressful jobs you can ever have. Confusion and fatigue are two of the main sources of stress. In 2008, eight men were sent to an oil rig in Galveston, Texas. Their mission was to cut a 60-inch hole in a thick piece of metal. They rode over the rough ocean for 10 hours and arrived just before midnight. The men got two hours of sleep before they were sent to work. Unfortunately, none of the men was present earlier in the day when the rig held a safety and planning meeting. They started cutting the hole high on a metal slab. One of the men left to tell the rig crew that he was worried that the metal slab was going to break. He returned just in time to see it give away. His co-worker fell to his death in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil rig workers must endure long hours, inadequate training, strenuous work, and difficult conditions. Stress is palatable on the oil rig. To combat stress, companies try to add more training classes and breaks. However, accidents in this line of work are still many times more prevalent than in any other industry. It takes someone with an even temperament to weather this arduous lifestyle.