Oil and gas wells are large and dangerous pieces of machinery. Corporations often lease land owned by private individuals and then construct a well there or move an existing pumpjack onto the property.
Unfortunately, it is possible for the company managing that space to do inadequate maintenance on the wells they own and the machinery they place near them. The result of that failure to maintain the wells could be devastating for workers who have to perform their jobs in close proximity to oil wells.
There are a number of potential accidents or injuries that oil and gas workers can suffer due to inadequate maintenance on the part of the property owner or the company operating the well.
Faulty maintenance can lead to fires or explosions
Sometimes, a well that hasn’t had adequate maintenance has sat unused for years due to mediocre oil and gas deposits or a lack of interest on the part of the company. When they do eventually send a worker out to inspect or possibly see if they can get the will running, faulty or worn parts could potentially lead to leaks that cause fires or an explosion.
Bringing replacement pieces to well sites can create a lot of risk
One of the leading causes of injury to people working in the oil and gas field is vehicle accidents. Trying to bring a new piece of equipment out to a drill site or just driving out to perform maintenance checks could cause substantial risk for workers, especially if the area where they have to work is muddy, sandy or otherwise bad for the traction of vehicles.
Repairs to machinery could result in crushing or caught-between accidents
Accidents where a worker gets caught between a vehicle and a wall or two pieces of moving machinery, like the parts of a pumpjack, are known as caught-between accidents, and they remain one of the biggest risk factors for oil and gas workers.
Whether a worker is trying to lubricate parts that haven’t moved in years or working on the ground when a nearby forklift loses its traction, caught-between or crushing accidents can easily occur at the site of an oil well and leave a worker with lasting injuries.
In circumstances where a company’s negligence or failure to maintain a facility directly contributes to the injury a worker suffers on the job, that worker may have the option of seeking workers’ compensation or possibly even taking legal action against the company for their role in causing the injury.