The oil and gas industry is almost synonymous with the State of Texas. Its importance to our state economy cannot be overstated. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found Texas to be the top crude oil and natural gas-producing state in the country, producing 43 percent of the nation’s crude oil and 26 percent of its natural gas. Since our state has such rich natural resources and has helped America become less reliant on foreign oil, it’s no wonder that jobs in this sector are bountiful; however, sometimes exploration, extraction, production, transportation, and more can cause injuries affecting oilfield workers. In fact, the fatality rate for oil and gas workers is seven times higher than that of any other industry, and oilfield work is one of the most dangerous professions. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the fatality rate for this industry is approximately five times that of all other industries combined.
Causes of Oilfield Injuries
The oil business is constantly booming in Houston and throughout Texas. It takes many people to keep this industry running smoothly, from drilling and refining to shipping, there are hundreds of thousands of workers in the oil and gas industry. While an oilfield injury can be caused by any number of factors, some of the more common causes include but are not limited to:
- Outdated, defective, or improperly maintained equipment
- Lack of worker experience, training, and/or certification
- Lack of safety equipment or the failure to provide PPE and other safety violations
- Failure to follow industry regulations
- Transportation issues, especially when workers drive from one job-site to another
- Fires and pipeline explosions
- Dangerous contact with heavy machinery and other equipment
- Unsecured rigs
- Weather-related accidents
- Flammable materials
- Well blowouts
- Fracking accidents
Steps to Take After an Oilfield Injury Accident
While an oilfield worker may be incapacitated or too seriously injured to take any of these steps immediately following an oilfield accident, the following steps must still be taken by the worker or a loved one shortly thereafter:
- Notify your employer about the incident and ensure an official accident report is written and filed
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries; but, if you are required to see the “company doctor,” you may want to get a second opinion from your own physician
- Keep all medical appointments and adhere to your providers’ instructions
- Document the accident scene or have a coworker do it for you, including taking photos and videos, talking to witnesses, and journaling or voice recording relevant details and information as soon as possible so things are not forgotten
- Don’t trust your employer, an insurance company, or any other business involved on your job site to “make things right” for you and your family
- Get help from an experienced oilfield accident attorney
What are the Most Common Injuries Occurring on Texas Oilfields?
Oilfield workers and their bosses know just how dangerous their jobs are, but that’s all the more reason for everyone to work to ensure workplace safety. Oilfields are full of dangerous items like combustible, toxic materials and the injuries they produce can be life-changing and even deadly. Some of the top injuries affecting oilfield workers include:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
- Limb injuries
- Neck injuries
- Skin injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Toxic exposure
- Traumatic brain injuries
In addition to physical injuries, the responsible parties for your workplace accident may also be liable to pay your medical expenses, for your pain and suffering, your rehabilitation costs, for your lost wages and any loss of future earning capacity, and more.
Texas Oilfield Injury Lawyers
Oilfield accidents cause debilitating injuries that threaten the financial stability of Texas families. As fellow Texans and as attorneys who have handled many oilfield accident cases, we understand the dangers energy workers face. Our Houston, Texas oilfield accident attorneys understand how oil and gas companies work and operate, and our successful track record and resources allow us to thoroughly investigate how your occupational accident occurred. We also help you hold these companies accountable for their reckless behavior, fighting against the wrongs that caused your injuries and ensuring that accidents like yours won’t happen again and harm or kill other oil and gas workers.
If you or someone you know needs legal counsel after an oilfield injury, Dax. F. Garza, P.C. offers free consultations, so contact us online for more information about how we can help you. To help our clients get the legal counsel they need without having to worry about upfront costs, our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid when we successfully obtain financial compensation for you. If we don’t win, you don’t owe us anything at all.