On the morning of March 14, 2017, a worker was fatally injured in an oilfield accident in Brazoria County in South Texas, according to news reports from KPRC.com. At about 8:30 a.m. the worker was killed when a 3,000-pound rig fell after the snatch block broke and crushed a well service technician. A crane was brought in to lift the block off the worker’s body. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has strict safety standards and regulations to help ensure the safety of workers in dangerous industries like the oil and gas industry. One of the major hazards in the oil and gas industry is machine hazards. Workers in the oil and gas extraction industry work around many different types of heavy machinery like pumps, kelly drives, draw works, compressors, hoist blocks and many other types of equipment.
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have published Hazard Information Bulletins that include national standards to mitigate these hazards. Each drilling and service company, according to OSHA, must provide PPE (personal protective equipment), communicate the hazards present in the workplace and train workers in how to work safely.
When employers fail to follow OSHA safety guidelines and workers suffer injury or death, employers are subject to significant fines.
What should you do after an oilfield injury?
What happened in Texas could happen to one of our oilfield workers, too. When an oil field worker is injured on the job, they must report the injury to their supervisor, seek medical attention and file for workers’ compensation if the injury is serious enough to require missed time from work.
In Oklahoma, workers’ compensation includes medical care for work-related injury or occupational diseases, a partial wage-replacement benefit for lost time at work, lump sum payments for permanent disability for loss-of-use injuries, a death benefit for family members of workers who die in work-related accidents and vocational re-training and job placement services for workers whose injuries do not allow them to return to their previous job.
Workers who have been injured on the job and are facing a dispute with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer or with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission, may benefit from scheduling a consultation with an experienced, Oklahoma workers’ compensation lawyer from the Stipe Law Firm in McAlester. Additionally, in certain circumstances, companies other than the oil field worker’s employer may also be legally responsible. Stipe Law Firm also handles these third-party cases as well.
If you have been injured in an industrial accident on an oil field or other type of workplace, you are encouraged to call 918.558.2255 or fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys in our McAlester office. At the Stipe Law Firm, we serve injured workers throughout the state of Oklahoma.