It is probably no surprise to you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention places the oil and gas industry among the most dangerous in the country. Your work on a Texas oilfield or in other capacities has likely exposed you to risks and hazards you never imagined. Perhaps you have suffered the grief of losing friends and co-workers to deadly accidents.
The American Petroleum Institute, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other agencies work to provide the safest possible environment for employees, despite the inherent dangers of the work. Nevertheless, the rate of fatal accidents in the oil and gas industry is seven times higher than any other job in the country.
Do you work in a culture of safety?
The oil industry is booming. In recent years, oil companies have added more drilling rigs and doubled the number of employees on the payroll. While this may put billions of dollars in the pockets of executives and shareholders, for you and your coworkers, it means an increase in accidents and fatalities on the job. In fact, the most common fatal accidents in the oil and gas extraction industry fell into these categories:
- Accidents related to the transportation of extracted products resulted in 479 deaths.
- Contact injuries, including workers who suffered injuries when struck by an object or equipment, led to 308 deaths.
- Fires and explosions in oil fields and refineries caused 170 deaths.
- Exposure to toxins in the environment resulted in the loss of 97 employees.
- Other incidents, including falls and accidents in confined spaces, caused fatal injuries to 30 workers.
The most common reasons for these tragedies include human error, negligence and a lack of appropriate personal protection equipment for the job. However, you may not be surprised to learn that the culture of the oil and gas industry workplace is a contributor to many catastrophic or fatal accidents. You may spend long hours working with little rest or sleep. You may hesitate to report injuries that could result in safety changes. Emergency help may be a great distance away.
No matter the reason for any injuries you may suffer, you have the right to quality medical care and the compensation to cover those expenses. For help with obtaining the financial assistance you deserve, you may turn to an experienced attorney who will leave no stone unturned while seeking every possible source of compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.