The oil and gas industry is booming across the U.S., particularly in states like Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Texas produces over 1/3 of the country’s oil, giving a boost to local economies and providing thousands of jobs. However, the dangerous machinery and harsh conditions of the job create risks for workers than can lead to injuries and even death when accidents occur. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the fatality rate of oil and gas extraction workers from 2003 to 2010 was seven times higher than the rate of all other industries.
While extracting, processing, or transporting important resources such as oil and gas, workers are put in hazardous situations on a daily basis. Even when precautions are taken, oilfield accidents do happen to even the most diligent workers. When dealing with tall oil rigs, powerful machinery, and highly flammable fumes, these accidents can quickly turn into lethal incidents.
These deaths and serious injuries are commonly a result of:
- Being struck by or caught in machinery or equipment
- Explosions or fires
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Falls, either from elevated areas such as rigs or on level ground
- Overexertion on the job
- Vehicle accidents
Common Injuries in Oil Field Accidents
When heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals are involved, even a minor accident can be disastrous. Those injured in these incidents can face staggering medical costs and may lose their ability to work and provide for their families.
Some of the more common injuries sustained in oilfield accidents include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Knee injury
- Shoulder injuries, including torn rotator cuffs
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
These injuries can lead to hefty expenses for the victim, ranging from short term to long term costs. Medical needs can include surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and even specialized equipment like wheelchairs. With so much at stake for each worker, it is imperative that every Texas and New Mexico workplace takes adequate precautions to avoid any accidents or injuries.
Demanding a Safe Work Environment
Laws provided on both state and federal levels, including those outlined by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), require that workers are provided with a safe environment while performing their duties. This includes properly maintained safety gear and training on how to perform their tasks with minimal risk of injury. If any worker believes that their employer is not complying with safety standards, they are protected in reporting these actions under OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Progam. This means that an employee who reports unsafe practices cannot be fired or face other disciplinary actions due to their report.
When an injury occurs, it can sometimes be difficult to know who should be held responsible. An equipment manufacturer may be liable for faulty gear, or even a member of management may be responsible for failing to take proper precautions. Defective products or workplace procedures could be at fault for the injury, although it can be daunting to take on those legally responsible for the damages when a large corporation is involved.
Lubbock Oilfield Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured while working in the oil or gas industry, you may be able to seek compensation to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. The successful Lubbock oilfield accident lawyers at Liggett Law Group can help you analyze your available options, determine who is liable for your damages, and confidently guide you through every step of the process ahead. Contact us today for a free consultation.