It’s no secret that some industries are inherently more dangerous than others. Employers who work in the oil and gas industry face numerous dangers on the job that can easily lead to serious, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries.
In fact, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that employees in offshore oil and gas operations are seven times more likely to be killed on the job than the average worker in the U.S. There are several factors that contribute to these startling statistics:
- Volatile and risky working environments
- Long hours and worker fatigue
- Exposure to extreme weather conditions
Knowing the specific dangers that oilfield workers face can help employers and employees take steps to reduce the risk of life-altering accidents.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 40% of oil and gas workers are killed on the job as a result of vehicle accidents. These incidents typically involve workers who must drive between multiple work sites. Because oilfield workers typically have long shifts and may have unpredictable work schedules, they are prone to fatigue and drowsy driving. Data from the CDC has even found that being awake for at least 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%.
The very nature of the oil and gas industry involves dealing with potentially toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Toxic exposure can result from contact with a toxic substance during one work shift or, most commonly, exposure over a longer period of time. Some of the most common toxins for oilfield workers include petroleum gases, hydrogen sulfide, diesel exhaust, or mercury vapor. Exposure can ultimately lead to a variety of life-altering medical complications.
Fires and Explosions
The risks of fires and explosions are inevitable in the oil and gas industry, but these risks can drastically increase when employers fail to control hire hazards and fail to take the steps necessary to keep workers safe. Flammable chemicals, crude oil, and natural gases used or extracted in this industry are inherently dangerous and volatile. Electrical equipment is another hazard that can lead to fires on these worksites. Remember, it only takes a single spark in one of these settings to cause a deadly explosion.
While harsh working conditions may be unavoidable for oilfield workers, certain hazards can increase their risks of a slip, trip, or fall. Many oilfield workers do their jobs on high platforms and equipment that may be located hundreds of feet off the ground. Additionally, slippery well pads, cords and cables, demanding ergonomic tasks, and heavy machinery operation can ultimately increase the risk of severe or catastrophic slip and fall accidents for oilfield workers.
Crush and Contact Injuries
Conditions are ever-changing on oil and gas worksites, which means that workers must constantly be aware of their surroundings and those performing high-risk jobs must always remain vigilant. Sadly, crush and contact injuries are common in the oil and gas industry. Moving vehicles, high-pressure hoses, overhead cranes and cables, or other heavy equipment can ultimately cause workers to become crushed, struck, or caught in between two hard objects.
Hurt While Working on an Oilfield?
If you sustained injuries while working in the oil and gas industry, you have rights that we can help protect. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our Shreveport oil field accident attorneys are part of your local communities and understand the need you have to get back on your feet so you can get back to work, put food on the table for your family, and pay your bills.
With a reputation for excellence and a track record of past successes, you have our word that we will do everything in our power to help you physically, emotionally, and financially recover after an oilfield accident. If your loved one was killed while working on an oilfield, we can also guide your family through the process of filing a wrongful death claim.
Don’t wait to contact an attorney to learn more about your legal rights. Call Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers at (888) 492-5532 to get started with a free, no-obligation case review.