Working on a drilling site is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world injuries are unfortunately common in this industry due to dangerous working conditions and volatile materials that are inherent to working with gas and oil. While workplace accidents are devastating because they normally require an injured worker to miss work, accidents at drilling sites are arguably even more devastating because they tend to result in long-term disabilities and fatalities.
However, while accidents at drilling sites are some of the most severe injury types, new reports released by the United States Department Bureau of Labor Statistics released a preliminary report this past October indicating that workplace injuries and illnesses are on the decline.
Common Drilling Site Hazards
Working in an industry that revolves around gas and oil means that there is an increased likelihood if there is an accident that it will be severe and even fatal. There are many dangers and hazards that workers are exposed to, and therefore there are several unique injury types in the drilling industry. Some of the different hazards workers face in the drilling industry include:
- Unsafe working environments
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Methane gas exposure
- Pipe explosions
- Chemical spills
Working in such hazardous conditions is one of the reasons why there are so many accidents and injuries in this industry. Despite exhaustive federal and Texas safety regulations workers in the oil and gas extraction industry are at risk of suffering serious and sometimes fatal injuries including burn injuries, vision and hearing loss, chemical burns, amputation, traumatic brain injury, and even wrongful death. In 2015, there were a reported 2.9 million private industry injuries and illness cases that were reported. Because of the severity of their injuries, many of these cases required the injured worker to miss days from work, transfer jobs, or work with restrictions.
Workplace Injuries on the Decline
In 2015 there seemed to be a decline in the number of nonfatal workplace injuries. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 there were a reported 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that were reported by private industry employers. While this number is still concerning, it does reflect a decrease in workplace accidents in the amount of nearly 50,000. Among the private industries that experienced a decline in the rate of injuries and illnesses in the workplace was the oil and gas extraction industry. The other industry sectors that reported a decline in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2015 were:
- Social assistance
While oil and gas extraction is a dangerous industry, reports issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the rate of workplace injury and illness here in Texas is on the decline. In fact, according to their report, the rate of nonfatal workplace injury and illnesses in Texas was 2.3 workers for every 100 workers, which is considered to be below the national average which is approximately 3.0 cases for every 100 full-time workers. According to the reports, which have not been finalized, nationally there were 211 nonfatal accidents in the oil and gas extraction industry in 2015.
What Damages can an Oil and Gas Worker Recover from an Injury?
A worker on an oil and gas site who has been injured is more likely to spend time away from work and sustain significant trauma as compared with other industries. In Texas a worker who has been injured on an oil rig can seek financial recovery for the following types of damages:
- Medical damages - Medical damages encompass medical care and treatment rendered by doctors, hospitals, and even emergency medical technicians that are connected with your injury.
- Lost wages - As noted above, when there is an injury in the oil and gas extraction industry it is more likely that the worker will miss work, be forced to change positions, or if they are able to return to work, they must do so with restrictions. All of these workplace modifications can result in a worker losing money. Workers who have to miss work, are required to change jobs, or can only return to work with working restrictions may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering - A long term injury that is often overlooked, is a worker’s pain and suffering they experience as a result of their injury. A worker who has been injured on an oil and gas extraction site may be able to recover for their mental anguish, stress, and grief they experience from an oil rig accident.
Workplace injuries can negatively can not only negatively affect your life but also your job and your family. While reports indicate that workplace injuries are on the decline nationwide, this is little comfort to those who have been injured while working in this dangerous industry.
Injured in a Drilling Accident? Contact a Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a drilling injury don’t wait to contact an experienced personal injury and workplace injury attorney here in the Dallas area. The Attorneys at Queenan Law are ready to help you recover for your injuries. Queenan Law encourages all accident and injury victims to contact us about their cases, including during evenings and weekends. Kevin will determine whether he can help, and if not, he will personally refer you to a reputable colleague whom he believes is better suited for your case. For a free, completely confidential legal consultation with Kevin, call Queenan Law right away at (817) 476-1797.