Every year, the nation produces approximately 1.7 billion of barrels of oil with the help of about 11,000 oilfield workers at any given time. Oilfield accidents happen during all phases of the oil and gas extraction process, which also includes drilling sites, pipelines, transportation, refineries, and other related areas.
Oilfield Accident Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated there are about 120 deaths in the oil and gas industry each year, with thousands more workers suffering serious injuries. Given the dangerous nature of the work, these injuries are generally more severe than those sustained in white collar workplaces. These oilfield accidents can often involve workers who come into contact with an electrical current, with spilled hazardous materials or chemicals, fires, explosions, leaks of toxic substances, and line blowouts.
Every year in Texas alone, the Texas Railroad Commission allocates tens of thousands of violations in the oil and gas industry’s workplaces, which often involve oilfield vehicles, equipment, pipelines, storage, and more.
Causes of Oilfield Accidents
Oilfield accidents have many causes that include but are not limited to:
- Failing to comply with old and new safety standards
- Failing to properly post safety signage
- Failing to give proper training to employees
- Failing to protect visitors to the job site
- Delays or failure in replacing or maintaining faulty equipment
- Improper construction of equipment or safety items such as rails, steps, frames, etc.
- Cracks and fissures in storage units, pipes, lines, and other means of fluid transportation
- Improper storage of hazardous fluids
- Failing to provide adequate safety equipment such as fire suppression tools, goggles, helmets, and suits
- The failure of the TRC to cite violations
Oilfield Accident Attorney
Those injured during oilfield accidents must be compensated for their damages even if they go beyond traditional workers’ compensation. Workers with severe injuries may be able to file claims for healthcare bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, long term injuries, and more, especially if the accident can be traced to the employer’s negligence. Unfortunately, some employers, their legal teams, and their insurance providers, attempt to minimize a worker’s injuries, offer small settlements, or even deny claims and culpability.
Texas has the most oilfield accident fatalities in the U.S., and it is essential to hire an attorney who knows the applicable state and federal laws. If you or someone you know was injured in an oilfield accident, contact us to learn your rights when dealing with an oilfield employer.