New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

March 22, 2013

Gas industry jobs dirty, strenuous

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

In the past weeks there have been several articles in The News about the Marcellus Shale being the next big job creator.

Industry and trade school spokesmen make it sound as if everyone will be working on a gas rig.

Sure, trade schools make these jobs as enticing and glamorous as possible because they want the training business. But how many of them will tell student prospects what the actual working conditions are before they enroll?

Does anyone think they’ll be paid $85,000 per year for standing around drinking coffee and talking bull?

From what I’ve read, these gas/oil platform positions are greasy, dirty, strenuous hump-busting, high-risk work. Most crews work one week on, one week off (seven 12-hour days in a row.)

So ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have the physical stamina and endurance to work an 84-hour week?

Can I work outside in all weather conditions — snow, sleet, sub-freezing in the winter to 90 degrees and humid in the summer?

Can I tolerate being wet and/or muddy for an entire work shift?

Can I work outside all night? (When these rigs start sinking a well they pound away 24/7 until they are done. There are banks of floodlights after dark.)

If you answered “no” to any of the previous questions, then my advice is don’t waste your time and money training because odds are you wouldn’t cut it on a gas/oil platform.

Robert Zbegan

Old Princeton Road

Shenango Township

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