On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 29th, a fatal Texas oil well blowout occurred at the Chesapeake Energy worksite off of County Road 127 near Deanville, Texas, about 75 miles east of Austin. Workover operations were underway at the time. While the cause of the blast is still unknown, the unexpected accident tragically killed an on site contract worker and led to severe injuries for three other workers, who were taken by helicopter to hospitals in Houston and Austin shortly after the incident.
The reason for the blowout is currently under investigation by representatives from Chesapeake Energy as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which claim the investigation could take up to six months. After nearly 24 hours, the fire was eventually extinguished on Thursday afternoon. Company emergency response personnel and outside well control specialists continue to work to secure the well. Though the Texas Department of Public Safety did not order an evacuation, many Burleson County community members are left uneasy about the incident and the potential dangers that come with living near the energy site.
Texas Oil and Gas Industry Dangers
Unfortunately, Texas is no stranger to accidents in the oil and gas industry. While federal and state laws regulate the industry in order to ensure a safe environment, Texas oil and gas workers are faced with life-threatening dangers on a daily basis while performing their jobs and are injured all too often. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Texas has had the most oilfield fatalities, with nearly 40% of injuries ending in wrongful death.
Even with the proper training and safety equipment, oil industry accidents can happen at any moment. Some of the most common reasons for these accidents include:
- Lack of supervision: sites lacking the proper management or the right amount of eyes overseeing safety measures and operations can mean more accidents are likely to occur.
- Understaffed worksites: energy industry work involves big jobs that can require 12-hour shifts. Untrained or overworked workers staffed to finish jobs quicker can be the reason an accident occurs.
- Poorly maintained equipment: heavy machinery requires consistent upkeep. Many job sites overlook its importance.
- Improper training: while training might be offered once workers are hired, it is often rushed or breezed over in order to get the job done sooner.
Texas Oil Well Blowout Injury Help
We understand just how dangerous the Texas oil and gas industry is. We also understand the complexities that come with federal and state laws surrounding the energy field in Texas. Whether you are working in an oilfield or on an offshore oil rig, the potential for injury is always present. If you were injured while working an oil and gas job in Texas, we want to help. Contact the workplace injury attorneys at Dax F. Garza P.C. today for a free case evaluation.