When drilling for oil and natural gas, you will often find many other chemicals and materials in the mix. Exposure to many of these chemicals can be incredibly dangerous to your health, and so can exposure to some of the chemicals used to extract and handle oil and natural gas. If you suffered serious injuries or negative health effects because of exposure to toxic chemicals while working at an oil or natural gas field, contact The Queenan Law Firm today.
Our Pecos, TX oil and natural gas field toxic chemical exposure lawyers represent injury victims and their families in claims against their employers and others responsible for their exposure injuries. Contact our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about suing for toxic chemical exposure in the oil and natural gas industry. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Common Toxic Chemicals that Injure Workers in Oil and Natural Gas Drilling
Dangerous byproducts of drilling and fracking for oil and natural gas can cause serious health problems. Many of these substances should be substances that you are warned about in your job and understand some of the risks of, but many injuries are caused because employers fail to properly educate their employers on the risks of the job. OSHA-compliant employers will often give you proper warnings to help protect yourself from exposure and properly equip you with respirators, masks, and other equipment to avoid exposure, but workers are frequently injured because their employers failed to do this.
The different chemicals you can be exposed to will vary depending on the resource you work with (i.e., oil or natural gas), but also on the drilling and extraction techniques. The following are all some of the common toxic chemicals you may be exposed to while drilling for oil or fracking for natural gas:
Benzene can be found in pockets of gas along with other natural gases or in sands and other mineral deposits. Benzene can be dangerous in high concentrations and should usually only be breathed in with a proper respirator or in properly ventilated areas. If you are exposed to benzene in a high concentration, it can cause serious injury.
Silica consists of fine bits of glass and stone. Silica is commonly found in regular sand, but also in frac sand. Silica dust can be extremely dangerous if it gets in your eyes or if you breathe it in. Microscopic shards of glass and quartz crystals can scratch you, potentially causing serious injuries to your lungs and other internal organs. Over time, these injuries can become worse.
Other gasses are commonly found in high concentrations under the surface of the earth. Releasing these chemicals while drilling or harvesting can cause a risk of igniting the gasses, but many are also very dangerous to breathe.
Dust kicked up by pulverizing stone or loosing other chemicals and substances during the drilling or fracking process can also cause serious injuries. If toxic dust gets in your eyes or is inhaled, you could face serious injuries, especially if you are exposed over a long period of time.
Buried in the earth are many naturally occurring radioactive substances. Exposure to these substances can be harmful without the proper safety gear and warning systems. If your employer does not properly halt operations to remove radioactive material or you are allowed to come into contact with radiation in unsafe levels, you could face long-term injuries that may appear slowly over time.
Suing for Toxic Exposure Injuries in Texas Oil and Natural Gas Drilling
Employers in the oil and natural gas industry owe their workers several duties to keep them safe and secure while they perform their jobs. If your employer fails to uphold any of these duties and causes you injuries, you may be entitled to sue them for compensation for the harms you faced. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or another responsible party may be the best way to get compensation for these injuries after a serious accident or exposure incident.
To get compensation, you must first prove that your employer breached a duty they owed you. An employer’s duty is commonly defined in safety standards promulgated by the State of Texas as well as OSHA standards and other federal guidelines. Many of these rules give an employer the following duties:
- The duty to adequately train workers (in a language they can understand)
- The duty to supply workers with adequate safety gear
- The duty to keep the premises and property safe for workers
The law might also create other duties depending on the specifics of your case.
To collect compensation, you must also prove that the injuries you suffered were caused by your employer’s breach of duty. If they failed to uphold these standards, and that led to your injuries, you can claim compensation from your employer.Lastly, you need to prove the damages you suffered. These damages can often be proved through financial statements, medical bills, pay stubs, and other records. For help proving your injuries and understanding what your injury case might be worth, contact our attorneys today.
Our Chemical Exposure Attorneys for Oil and Natural Gas Workers in Pecos, Texas Offer Free Consultations
If you were injured because of exposure to toxic chemicals in the oil and natural gas industry, or if a loved one in your family suffered health effects or passed away because of this exposure, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our lawyers may be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation from your employer and other negligent parties that were responsible for your injuries. To schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.