The oil and gas industry has been a staple in the Texas economy for decades. The oil and gas industry employs tens of thousands of workers across Texas, but these jobs are not without risks. The oil and gas industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in because of the materials, tools, and machinery involved. However, just because a job is dangerous doesn’t mean workers aren’t entitled to a safe workplace. The oil and gas industry injures thousands of workers each year, and the vast majority of these accidents are caused by employer negligence.
Workers Have The Right To A Safe Workplace
Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, but all workers are legal entitled to a reasonably safe workplace. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the Department of Labor founded in 1971 to protect the wellbeing of all workers. OSHA sets and enforces safety standards to ensure workers are protected from dangers that can cause serious injuries. OSHA requires all employers provide employees with the necessary safety training and equipment needed to perform their jobs safely. When employers fail to comply, OSHA issues hefty fines.
Why Is The Oil And Gas Industry So Dangerous?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the oil and gas industry has an on-the-job fatality rate seven times greater than the U.S. average. The oil and gas industry is dangerous because the process of extracting crude oil and natural gas involves very volatile chemicals, often under a tremendous amount of pressure. Machinery and equipment used in the oil and gas industry has safeguards in place to help prevent accidents, but they only work if employees know how to use them. When pressure control systems fail in an oilfield, the pressure can cause an explosion or blowout.
In addition to the massive amounts of pressure generated through oil and gas work, workers are also dealing with heavy machinery that can easily cause severe accidents. Workers that are struck by large machinery or who get caught by the machinery can suffer permanent injuries. Finally, workers are also exposed to certain risks form the materials they are working with. Crude oil and natural gas can cause severe injuries to workers who are exposed to them.
All of these dangers can cause a variety of different accidents. Some of the most common oilfield accidents include:
- Oilfield truck accidents
- Falls from oil rigs
- Rig Collapses
- Blowouts and explosions
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Being struck by equipment or debris
- Vibration injuries
Injuries From Oilfield Accidents
Oilfield accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. While some injuries are minor, most will require immediate medical attention. Injuries from oilfield accidents often include severe burns (including chemical burns), amputations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, lung damage, lacerations and abrasions, soft tissue damage, crushing injuries, and paralysis, among others.
Most Workers Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation
Texas is one of only two states that do not require employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation. This means when workers are injured on the job, the employer is not legally obligated to provide any type of compensation. Most oilfield workers do not have workers compensation, so the only way to obtain compensation is to file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced oilfield accident attorney.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Oilfield workers who are injured on the job can receive numerous types of compensation. Workers can receive compensation for all medical treatment, including treatment needed in the future, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and permanent disfigurement. When oilfield accidents are fatal, families of the victim can pursue compensation for any medical expenses incurred before death, funeral expenses, and loss of income to the family, among others.
Unfortunately for victims, oil and gas companies are experts at fighting lawsuits and avoiding liability. Victims cannot take on an oil and gas company alone. An experienced oilfield accident lawyer will be able to hold the negligent parties responsible so the victims get the compensation they need and deserve.
Experienced Oilfield Accident Lawyers
At Sahadi Legal Group, we have extensive experience helping oilfield accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We know how oil and gas companies try to minimize claims to limit payouts, and we fight aggressively to hold them accountable. There is absolutely no upfront cost for working with us. We offer free consultations and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. The sooner you call us after an oilfield accident, the sooner we can start protecting your rights and pursuing compensation.