Oil workers face a high rate of injury compared to workers in other industries. The risks you face working on an oil rig come not only from the workplace conditions – working outside in the heat and sun – but also from the chemicals and tools you handle as a roughneck or other oil worker. The Houston oil drilling injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm discuss some of the dangers and statistics surrounding oil rig workers in Texas.
Texas Oil Rig Injury Statistics
Throughout the country, there are only about 17,190 oil workers that perform boots-on-the-ground labor tasks in the oil and natural gas industry. There are additional workers on the engineering and geoscience side of things, but they are not often injured at work. Overall, the industry has gotten safer over the years, but in 2017, 8 oil workers died in the US. The most recent years listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website reach back to 2014 which saw 18 deaths in the oil industry. Also in 2017, there was a rate of “recordable” injury cases – that is, cases that are severe enough to be reported – of 1 injury per 100 workers. Most of these injuries were severe enough to lead to days off work, altered job tasks, light duty work, or transfers.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Oil Workers Face?
The injuries that oil workers often face on the job typically come from things like hazardous conditions, falls, and dangerous equipment. Heat stroke and dehydration are common on hot days in the summer months, especially here in Texas. Injuries from falling can occur any time a worker has to climb up a high ladder or climb up parts of the rig or because of dangerous conditions on the rig. Dangerous tools can lead to amputation injuries, broken bones, and crushing injuries. In the worst oil rig accidents, dangerous explosions and blowouts can cause substantial injuries including burn injuries and wrongful death.
Injuries from falling are one of the most common injuries because slip and fall accidents can occur in everyday scenarios as well as scenarios common to oil rigs. Walking across rough surfaces or surfaces made slippery by oil can lead you to slip and fall, potentially suffering severe injuries. Climbing ladders or other high places can lead to far more severe injuries if you fall. If you hit your head on an object on the way down or strike the floor hard, you could suffer traumatic brain injuries and severe spinal cord injuries, which could be life-altering injuries.
Although blowouts are rare, many workers can be injured in fires or blowouts that take place on oil rigs. Especially on offshore drilling rigs, these accidents can be catastrophic and lead to serious casualties and loss of life.
What Causes Oil Accidents?
Many of the accidents that oil workers face occur because of improper training or dangerous coworkers. Other injuries occur because of dangerous or defective equipment.
If your coworkers were not given proper training, they could be a huge risk to you and others. Crane operators who do not watch out for others in the area could cause serious injuries, as could other workers operating tools without the proper training. If a worker comes to the job site under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they pose a significant risk to everyone around them.
Typically, your employer is responsible for providing safety gear on the oil rig. If they fail to provide you with safe tools and safety gear, or the gear you are provided with has defects that your employer should have noticed, you could face serious injuries.
Suing for Oil Rig Worker Injuries
If you or a loved one is considering a career in the oil industry, or if you already work in the industry, it is important to understand how you may be able to seek compensation for injuries you face on the job. When you start a job in Texas, you are given the choice whether to accept workers’ compensation coverage or refuse the coverage. When you refuse workers’ comp., you protect your right to sue in case of an injury. If you accept the coverage, you may be forced to accept reduced wages and use a doctor of your employer’s choice to get injuries covered. Talk to an attorney about preserving your right to sue for workplace injuries in the oil and natural gas industry.
If you are injured in an accident at work on an oil rig and take your case to court, you may be entitled to substantial compensation from a negligent employer. This could cover lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you lose a loved one in an accident on an oil rig, you may be able to claim additional compensation for funeral and burial expenses and other damages related to your loss.
Dallas Oil Rig Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
For help with your oil injury case, contact the Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured oil workers in Texas, and we may be able to fight your case and get you the compensation you need. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.