In 2015 John represented an oilfield worker whose arm was traumatically amputated while working on the deck of a South Texas drilling rig. Again, after preparing the case for a jury in Maverick County he was able to reach a resolution to take care of his client. 11-08-26783, Lopez v. Allis-Chalmers Energy, Inc., 365th Judicial District Court, Maverick County, Texas.
Personal Injury Oilfield Accidents
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), between 2013 and 2017, 489 workers lost their lives on the job due to oilfield accidents. While statistics like this show the risks involved with the oil and gas industry, they also serve as strong indicators that employers are overlooking employees’ wellbeing and safety.
Common Causes of Oilfield Injuries
Oilfield accidents occur somewhat regularly; and, in many cases these accidents lead to the deaths of workers. The process of extracting oil and natural gas requires the use of heavy machinery, equipment, large trucks, and other transportation devices. Because of this, the types of accidents and associated injuries can range broadly. Sources of oilfield injuries sustained on the job can include:
- Being struck by a vehicle or heavy equipment
- Becoming caught-in or caught-between machinery
- Explosions or fires
- Confined spaces
- Machine hazards
- High pressure lines and equipment
- Heavy noise
- Extreme temperatures and fatigue
Oilfield workers often handle a variety of chemicals and work in an environment containing hazardous gases, including:
- Diesel particle matter
- Hazardous chemicals
- Hydrocarbon gases and vapors and low oxygen environments (confined spaces)
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
Oilfield Worker Injuries
Potential oilfield worker injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Deep lacerations
- Severe burns
Hazardous chemicals and gases combined with dangerous heavy machinery and grueling manual labor can prove lethal if oil and gas companies don’t properly train and protect employees as well as perform routine maintenance.
Protecting Oilfield Workers
The oil and gas industry is demanding, and over the past decade there has been an increased need for workers. While the workforce that fuels the energy industry grows, so do fatality and serious injury statistics among workers. Oilfield workers are eight times more likely to suffer a fatality on the job than other workers, resulting in an industry death rate of 3.2% per every 100,000 workers. In areas like the Permian Basin that employ hundreds of thousands of workers annually, these statistics can prove devastating.
While oil and gas companies profit off the work of oilfield workers, they cannot let the safety and wellbeing of their employees fall by the wayside. OSHA enforces a strict set of guidelines and standards for the oil and gas industry that aim to reduce worker fatalities. When oil and gas companies ignore these guidelines and fail to implement safety training, provide sufficient safety equipment for employees, and do not conduct routine maintenance on heavy machinery and other industrial equipment, workers lives are put at risk.
Oilfield Accident Attorneys
We believe the workers who help grow and maintain our healthy oil and gas industry deserve more than just a paycheck. Oilfield workers deserve a safe and secure workplace free of immediate danger and risk while performing their daily duties. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an oilfield accident, you may be entitled to compensation; however, there is limited time to act. Contact us today for a free case consultation.