Workers in the nation’s oilfields face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the United States. According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers across the country experience fatal work injuries at a rate of three out of every 100,000 full-time workers. However, workers in the oilfield suffer fatal incidents at a much higher rate. Men and women in the oil and gas industry can expect to suffer from a deadly work incident at a rate of more than five times higher than the rest of the nation. The BLS found that 142 people died in the oil and gas industry in 2013, a 27 percent increase from the year before.
According to Marketplace, these inflated risks are not surprising to experts. “We’ve known for quite a few years that it’s a high hazard industry,” said Kyla Retzer, an epidemiologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health who focuses on safety and health in oil and gas extraction.
Oilfield Injury Causes
Oilfield injuries typical happen because of the grueling nature of the work workers endure at them. Heavy machinery, a volatile product, and intense physical labor contribute to the reasons that oilfield workers suffer from injuries.
Common oilfield accident causes include the following:
- Equipment failure
- Well blowouts
- Fracking accidents
- Falling from a height
Driving While Exhausted: A Common Cause of Oilfield Injuries
One of the most common, yet unexpected, causes of oilfield injuries is motor vehicle accidents. Oilfields are typically located in rural areas. When an oil boom occurs, such as the one currently happening in the Permian Basin, small country roads become dangerous. Roads designed for light use are suddenly covered with hundreds of large trucks and thousands of vehicles transporting workers to the oilfields. Falling asleep at the wheel is a common problem and, each year, tragic accidents claim the lives of multiple people because an exhausted driver falls asleep at the wheel. Some parts of Texas and New Mexico contain residents referring to their local highways as “Death Highways,” and they attribute this grim title to the sudden influx of vehicles caused by oil and gas extraction.
What to Do After an Oilfield Injury
If you or a loved one suffered because of an oilfield injury, call Arnold & Itkin today. Oil and gas companies have a responsibility to protect the safety of their employees. When a severe accident occurs, it is almost always because a company failed to provide adequate protection and safety standard for its workers.
You don’t have to suffer financially because of an oilfield injury, and Arnold & Itkin has helped workers throughout the nation recover losses. We’ve obtained significant results for workers who had their lives changed while working in the nation’s oilfields. Oil and gas companies might be titans in their industry, but no company is too large for our attorneys to take on. We take pride in meeting the needs of clients while we work on their case and are proud to provide the resources that each case we handle needs for success.
Call our Oilfield injury attorneys today to for a free consultation. We’re ready to help you discover what your options are during this difficult time.