Working in the oil and gas industry, and especially in the oilfields, can be dangerous. There are safety hazards everywhere you look from gas explosions, falls and truck accidents to exposure to toxic chemicals. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recognizes the importance of controlling these hazards to prevent injuries and deaths in the oilfields.
Oklahoma oilfield workers who sustain an injury at work may be eligible to apply for workers’ compensation, which provides a partial wage replacement disability benefit, medical expenses for the workplace injury or occupational disease, lump sum payments for the loss of use of a body part or function and other benefits for employees.
Regardless of the type of industry, workers are entitled to a safe workplace. When you work in an extraordinarily hazardous industry such as oil and gas extraction, your employer has an obligation to mitigate those hazards as much as possible and provide workers with safety equipment and training in how to avoid the hazards and be safe at work. Yet, every year workers suffer injuries and death in oilfield accidents. Receiving proper safety training and being aware of the hazards you face on the job can help workers remain vigilant at work.
OSHA lists these hazards that oilfield workers face in the workplace:
- Vehicle collisions. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reports that about four out of every ten workers killed on the job in the oil and gas industry die in a traffic accident.
- Struck by/ Caught in/ Caught-between. Workers can be struck by moving vehicles and equipment, falling equipment and other hazards associated with all the heavy equipment in the industry.
- Explosions and fires caused by flammable gases and chemicals are another significant source of injury and death for oilfield workers.
- Falls are another common cause of injury as workers are often required to climb high above the ground. When they are not wearing OSHA required personal fall protection equipment workers can get hurt and employers are subject to fines for violating safety regulations.
There are other significant safety hazards such as working with defective equipment, working in confined spaces, electrocution hazards and working around high pressure lines and equipment.
Most of the accidents and injuries and fatalities could have been prevented if the workers were using required safety equipment and if they received proper training in how to use the equipment and machinery safely and in a way that avoids accidents.
At Stipe Law Firm, we handle serious injury cases arising out of the oil and gas extraction industry. We protect Oklahoma 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 our workers’ compensation attorneys can make sure that you receive fair compensation. 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.