The United States produces tens to hundreds of millions of barrels of oils each year nationally, and there are approximately 11,000 oilfield workers in the industry at any given time. Oilfield accidents can happen during any phase of oil and gas extraction, including drilling oil and gas wells, transportation, pipelines, refining, and other support activities for oil and gas extraction.
Oilfield Accident Injuries
Non-fatal oilfield accidents can happen at any time during oil and gas extraction and for a variety of reasons. In Texas alone, the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) is in charge of issuing permits to oilfields, as well as citing any and all violations. Every year, the TRC finds tens of thousands of violations ranging from minor to severe, any of which can put workers in danger. Oilfield accidents can be the result of one of these violations, which often includes oilfield equipment, vehicles, pipelines, storage, and other areas.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 120 fatalities related to the oil and gas industry per year, with thousands more suffering injuries. Those injured in oilfield accidents are often faced with more severe injuries than those in other industries given the dangerous nature of the work. A few of the most severe oilfield accidents involved the hazardous spilling of chemicals, workers coming into contact with electrified equipment, fires, explosions, leaks, and blowouts.
Oilfield Accidents Causes
Oilfield accidents can have many causes and are often attributed to:
- Failure to properly communicate safety procedures
- Failure to comply with new safety standards and procedures
- Failure to give proper training to all employees at all levels
- Failure to protect and train visitors to the job site
- Failure to maintain or replace faulty equipment
- Delays in maintaining and inspecting equipment
- Improper construction of equipment
- Improper construction of safety items such as rails, steps, frames, etc.
- Cracks and fissures in pipes, lines, and other means of fluid transportation
- Cracks and fissures in storage units such as tanks, trucks, etc.
- Improper storage of hazardous fluids
- Failure to provide adequate safety equipment such as helmets, goggles, and suits
- Failure to provide working fire suppression equipment
- Failure of TRC to cite violations
Oilfield Accident Attorney
Workers who are injured during oilfield accidents are entitled to compensation for their damages which can go beyond traditional workman’s compensation. If the injuries are severe enough and the employer proved negligent enough, a worker can file a claim for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent injuries, diminished work capacity, and more.
However, some employers, their insurance companies, and lawyers may attempt to minimize your injuries, offer you a small settlement, or even deny your claim out right.
With the state of Texas having the most oilfield accident fatalities in the nation, it is imperative to get an attorney who knows the law. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an oilfield accident, you have a limited time to act. Contact us immediately so we can help you learn your rights when dealing with an employer or filing a claim at no cost.