If you have spent any time working in an oilfield, then you know how dangerous the job can be. However, news stories and studies about the industry often understate the amount of minor and major injuries oilfield workers experience on the job. This could mislead those considering working in the industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has far more accurate data on the actual number of serious oilfield accidents that occur nation annually.
Minor workplace injuries have forced some oilfield workers to be away from their jobs for a significant amount of time. It’s not uncommon for those recovering from injuries to encounter some financial hardship, especially when paying medical bills and other household expenses. To stay informed in and out of the oilfield, you must have full knowledge of your work benefits, especially if you’re injured on the job. It is also important to understand the most common injuries that occur in oilfield accidents and what to do if you are injured.
The most frequently reported injuries for oilfield workers
Some oilfield injuries can cause long term problems, and in more serious cases, even permanent damage. Some of the injuries that might fall under this category include amputation, broken bones, and burns, among others.
Some oilfield injuries can be so severe that the only way you can be treated is by amputation of a digit or limb. An injury leading to amputation will affect the way you live for the rest of your life. Whether it is losing a finger or a limb, the risks of injury are always present.
Broken or fractured bones
Fractures or broken bones can happen if you become pinned underneath a vehicle or between equipment parts. Broken bones can require extensive surgery and rehabilitation, which can cause financial burden and put strain on your physical well-being.
Sustaining burns is close to the top of all lists of the most frequent oilfield injuries. Fires and explosions in the oilfield accounted for almost 15% of fatalities from 2011 to 2015, according to OSHA. Serious burns can lead to debilitating injuries and life-long rehabilitation.
Struck-by injuries are those when an oilfield worker is hit by equipment, vehicles, or pinned to machines. According to OSHA, 55% of oilfield accident fatalities were caused by workers falling off of or being struck by equipment between 2011 and 2015.
Car accidents are also one of the biggest threats to safety for oilfield workers. One reason why vehicle accidents are common in this industry is because many companies are able to circumvent driving laws that require workers be rested. Sometimes, truck drivers must wait hours for other workers to complete their jobs and do not have an adequate area to rest. Accidents can also be caused by vehicles that are not maintained and drivers that are not experienced.
Changes to reporting oilfield injuries to OSHA
In the past, Texas employers weren’t obligated to report oilfield accidents to OSHA, except in the case of a catastrophic injury or death. Those regulations were changed in 2015 and now all employers must report accidents where an employee went to the hospital for their injuries. Recent data supports that the oil and gas industry has the highest rate of severe injuries sustained by their employees.
What to do if you are in an oilfield accident
If you have suffered an injury in an oilfield accident, you should begin the process of submitting a worker’s compensation claim to gain access to your benefits. This will help keep you financially stable during your recovery and time away from work.
The process of having your claim approved can be stressful. Some companies do not even have workers compensation for you to use. It is important to have some form of assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney who can act on your behalf. Attorneys who understand oilfield accidents and work injury laws can help if you have been injured in the oilfield.
Have you been in a oilfield accident?
If you have been involved in an Oilfield Accident caused by the negligence of another party, you need an attorney that you can trust. Contact Attorney Dean Boyd today to find out how we can help you with your personal injury claim or lawsuit. You can call us at (806) 242-3333 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Services. You can also visit our offices in person at 4423 SW 45th Avenue in Amarillo, Texas or 5012 50th St #103 in Lubbock, Texas.