Oilfield workers play a vital role in the energy industry, working tirelessly to extract and transport oil and gas.
However, working in the oil and gas industry can be dangerous, and oilfield workers are at risk of accidents and injuries.
Read on to learn more about the five most common oilfield accidents and what types of legal avenues you can pursue.
5 Common Oilfield Injury Accidents
Many people hear about the environmental damage that oilfield injury accidents can cause but fail to realize that workers often suffer tremendous injuries in these accidents. Here is a look at five of the most common oilfield injury accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of accidents in the oilfield and can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, and back injuries. Workers can slip and fall due to wet or oily surfaces, uneven terrain, and poor lighting.
To prevent slip and fall accidents, oilfield workers should:
- Wear slip-resistant shoes,
- Take extra caution when walking on wet or oily surfaces, and
- Ensure that walkways and work areas are well-lit.
Oilfield workers should also be aware of potential tripping hazards such as loose cables or debris on walkways. Employers should conduct regular inspections of the work area to identify and address potential risks.
Explosions and Fires
Explosions and fires can occur in the oilfield due to gas leaks, equipment malfunctions, and improper handling of hazardous materials. These accidents can result in serious injury or death and significant damage to equipment and facilities.
To prevent explosions and fires, oilfield workers should:
- Properly maintain equipment,
- Use caution when handling hazardous materials, and
- Follow safety procedures when working with gas.
Oilfield workers should also be familiar with emergency evacuation procedures and know the location of fire extinguishers and emergency shut-off valves. Employers should conduct regular fire drills and ensure that all workers receive training in emergency response procedures.
Heavy Machinery Accidents and Malfunctions
Injuries from heavy machinery are common in the oilfield and can occur due to improper training, lack of safety equipment, and poor equipment maintenance.
They can also result from equipment malfunctions. Pressure levels might register incorrect values or fluctuate. Injuries from heavy machinery can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe amputations or crushing injuries.
To prevent injuries from heavy machinery, oilfield workers should receive proper training on operating equipment, using safety equipment, and ensuring that equipment is maintained correctly.
Oilfield workers should also be aware of the potential hazards associated with operating heavy machinery. Employers should conduct regular safety inspections of equipment.
Lack of Training
One of the leading causes of oilfield accidents is the lack of proper training for workers. Workers who lack adequate training may not know the hazards associated with their work, how to use dangerous equipment, or the correct safety procedures to follow.
This lack of training can lead to slips and falls, vehicle accidents, injuries from heavy machinery, and more.
To prevent accidents caused by a lack of training, oilfield employers should provide regular training for their workers on safety procedures, equipment operation, and emergency response.
Workers should also be required to demonstrate their understanding of the training and undergo periodic refresher training.
Working in the oilfield involves working with various chemicals and gases, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. Exposure to toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and methane can lead to gas poisoning.
This exposure can be fatal if not treated quickly. Symptoms of gas poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and unconsciousness.
Employers should provide oilfield workers with proper training on the hazards associated with the chemicals and gases they may be exposed to in the oilfield.
When working with these materials, employees should use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as respirators. Employers should also conduct regular air quality monitoring and ensure that workers are aware of emergency procedures in case of gas exposure.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Oilfield Accident Injuries?
Does workers’ compensation cover oilfield accident injuries? Workers’ compensation in Texas might not be enough to cover injuries you sustain in an oilfield accident.
That’s because Texas employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. If that’s the case, you may have to prove your employer was negligent to recover compensation for your injuries.
If an employer does have coverage, there are limits on the type and amount of compensation you can receive. In addition, some injuries don’t qualify under workers’ compensation, such as acts of God, horseplay, intoxication, willful criminal acts, and more.
Why Should You Hire an Oilfield Accident Law Firm
So why should you hire an oilfield accident law firm? One of the most important reasons to hire a law firm with experience or expertise in oilfield accidents is because these claims involve complicated legal issues.
Choosing the wrong law firm can negatively affect the outcome of your case. A personal injury lawyer with no experience representing injured oilfield workers might be unable to evaluate your case value accurately.
You could end up settling for less than you deserve or even lose your case.
You need a law firm that understands the complex legal issues involved and whether you should pursue a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury lawsuit, or both.
Contact an Oilfield Accident Attorney at Flores, Tawney, & Acosta P.C.
Oil is a vital industry, but it poses significant dangers to those who work in the fields. The accidents discussed in this article are only some common accident types that leave workers severely injured.
Taking the necessary precautions and following proper safety procedures can help prevent these accidents, and oilfield workers can stay safe while on the job. However, not all employers prioritize employee safety, increasing the risk of accidents.
We have years of experience representing injured oilfield workers and understand how to build a solid case. Let us review your case and help you decide on the best course of legal action.