Oilfield accidents are notorious for being dangerous and their accident claims known for being complicated. It is common for major players in the industry to dispute the fact that the field is so dangerous, though. Here is the truth about oilfield accidents and the injury claims related to them.
Accident statistics from the oilfield
Although some may argue these stats, they are recorded by trustworthy sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and The American Petroleum Institute. Here are a few stats and facts to remember.
- Between 2008 through 2017, there were 1,566 oilfield worker deaths in the oil and gas drilling industry and other related fields.
- In 2015, 74% of all fatalities in the mining industry were in the oil and gas extraction sector.
- In 2017, 93 people lost their lives on Route 285, just on the Texas portion of the oil and gas transportation highway.
- Some of the most dangerous positions in the oilfield include derrick hands (derrick operators), motormen, drillers, and truck drivers.
Why oilfield accidents are actually underreported
There are a few reasons why oilfield accidents and their statistics are underreported. Specific state and federal regulations differ. One example is Texas, where the Railroad Commission of Texas regulates the oil and gas industry, and Oklahoma, where OSHA regulations are followed. There are also many entities that gather accident, injury, and fatality reports, creating discrepancies in the data. Another factor is that the definition of a severe injury varies depending upon regulatory entities as well as the people involved in the accident.
How OSHA relates to claims and oilfield safety
OSHA is the regulating agency that penalizes oil companies that cause accidents and injuries. Many times, OSHA does not seem to be working in the injured employee’s favor. Although they do often investigate and impose penalties on companies who violate standards, the companies will contest them. When this happens, OSHA is known for reducing or getting rid of penalities to make the settlement process quicker. This results in a lenient atmosphere that doesn’t reduce negligence in the oilfield.
What to do if you are involved in an oilfield accident
If you have been in an oilfield accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may not know what to do. Workers’ compensation will often cover at least some of the damages, but it often doesn’t help much or a company doesn’t even have it. OSHA may penalize the company that caused your injuries, but this won’t help you pay for medical bills. Here are some tips to help you handle your accident and claim.
Know who is responsible
This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially in oilfield accidents. There are many parties that can be responsible for your injuries, including equipment manufacturers, the person responsible for safety standards at your job site, and even truck drivers on the site.
If more than one party was at fault, workers comp may not be an option for you at all or may not be your only choice. You can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If your employer was the only one responsible, you are likely limited to workers’ compensation only.
Speak with an attorney
To get the most compensation for your injuries, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to give you the information you need to handle the situation while healing.
- You will first need to research a few attorneys and take a look at their skills, past experience, and fees.
- Many attorneys will give you a free consultation to see if they will be able to help you.
- Once you have chosen an attorney, they will need to gather any information you have not already provided.
- Finally, be prepared to speak with the parties at-fault with your attorney.
Get help after your oilfield accident
If you have been affected by an accident in the oilfield and want to learn more about seeking compensation, Attorney Dean Boyd and his team can help. We provide a variety of Services with offices located in Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas and offer a free consultation. Give us a call at (806) 242-3333 or Send Us an email for more information.