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Health Hazards and Occupational Exposure in the Oil and Gas Industry

Health Hazards and Occupational Exposure in the Oil and Gas Industry

By its nature, the oil and gas extraction industry is fraught with hazards to the health and safety of workers. Companies that are operating in the industry have an obligation, just as any other employer would, “to provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Act.” (OSHA employer responsibilities) This is the first of more than a dozen responsibilities that employers owe to their employees in the U.S.

Sometimes, despite every precaution, workers suffer injuries on the job. Every state has a workers’ compensation system which is a no-fault system that provides medical expenses and partial wage-replacement disability payment for workers who suffer an occupational injury or disease. Workers’ compensation provides a death benefit when a worker loses their life in an accident arising out of their employment, and lump sum payments for the loss of use of limbs or function such as loss of vision or hearing.

An employee who is injured at work must notify their employer of the accident or incident and then seek medical attention for the injury before applying for workers’ compensation, which is covered by the employer’s mandatory insurance policy for every employee.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is an agency within the Department of Labor, issued a trade release on worker health and safety as an integral part of sustainability efforts. Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said “It is clear that more and more businesses are building the concept of sustainability into their operations, we believe the next innovation is integrating worker safety and health into these sustainability strategies.”

Health Hazards within the oil and gas industry

OSHA has identified these hazards that pose a potential threat to the health and safety of workers in the industry:

  • Exposure to hydrogen sulfide during drilling operations
  • Silica exposure during hydraulic fracturing
  • Occupational exposure to noise from all the heavy equipment that create high levels of noise
  • Exposure to diesel particulate matter
  • Hazardous chemical exposure
  • Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)
  • Temperature extremes
  • Fatigue

When you have been injured on the job or are facing any kind of dispute with your employer’s insurance company or the Oklahoma workers’ compensation commission, you might consider engaging the services of a trusted workers’ compensation attorney who will protect your right to fair compensation.

At Stipe Law Firm, we handle serious injury cases arising out of the oil and gas extraction industry. We protect oilfield workers when they suffer an injury in an oilfield accident or a truck or auto accident. If you have suffered a serious workplace injury or any kind of injury caused by another person’s negligence, we can evaluate your case and get you the compensation you deserve. You are welcome to visit our office in McAlester, call (918) 505-7741, or contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can assist you.

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