Texas is one of the leading states in oil and gas drilling, and the industry provides thousands of job opportunities for the state. Due to the possibility for injury, safety precautions must be diligently followed by employers, as well as strong training and effective supervision.
But in some cases these precautions are ignored and the results are often disastrous, or even fatal.
Dangers of working on oil fields in Texas
Individuals who work on oil fields are often exposed to a number of serious safety risks, including heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals and gases, and electrical hazards. The chemicals and dangerous working conditions also make oil and gas rigs vulnerable to explosions and fires.
Chemicals and dangerous working conditions make oil and gas rigs vulnerable to explosions.
There is often a long and thorough investigation to reveal the underlying causes for oil field explosions and fires. Causes include electrical equipment short circuiting, which causes a fire that erupts into a full explosion after coming into contact with other combustible materials like oil or gas. A spark from a tool, or batteries leaking explosive gasses could also lead to explosions.
Additionally, machinery used in oil field work often involves high pressures, which when coupled with the presence of equipment and flammable fire, increases the risk of an explosion.
Fires in this industry are often very serious due to the steady supply of oil near the explosion site.
Some of the most common reasons for oil field explosions include:
Inadequate safety procedures
Improperly maintained equipment
Heavy equipment failure
Failure to use proper safeguards
Errors in the drilling process
Lack of proper safety training
Oil field worker fatigue
Unsafe working conditions
Although stringent regulations have been developed to help minimize the possibility of serious injury or death, some companies continue to take shortcuts with safety measures to save time or money. These tactics often compromise the safety of a work environment.
With the help of a legal team, many accident victims are able to recover damages.
It is pivotal in cases involving oil field accidents that the reasons for these fires are discovered so that future disasters can be averted. With the help of industry experts and a legal team, many accident victims are able to recover for the damages that they suffer.
Damages associated with oil field explosion accidents in Texas
If you have been injured in an oil field explosion you could be entitled to workers' compensation. Damages might include:
Other medical bills
Physical therapy costs
Plastic surgery expenses
Lost or reduced earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Your medical expenses could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and you may be facing years of difficult recovery ahead, especially when suffering from serious burns. Often skin graft surgery, medical equipment and prosthetics are necessary in the course of treatment.
Enjuris Tip: Enjuris offers a post-accident pain journal that can help you document your injuries and treatment plan, which can be helpful in a workers' compensation or jury trial case.
Wages that you have lost, as well as wages you may lose in the future due to your injuries and medical treatments/appointments.
Past and future pain and suffering, which could be substantial in a burn injury case. If you have suffered severe burns that led to obvious disfigurement, such as on the face, your award could be higher.
As an employee in the Texas oil and gas industry it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Not only to address your own potential accident case, but to help prevent a future workplace accident by knowing what problems to look for and how to report unsafe working conditions.
Know your rights
The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law. For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov for more information on workers' rights.
If you have questions or concerns about your work site, find your regional or area OSHA office through the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office.