It isn’t easy to work in an oil or gas field. You have to have a lot of expertise to coax those minerals from the ground, and the labor can be intensive. It’s also fraught with danger. Between 2008 and 2017, about as many people died trying to extract natural minerals out of American soil as there were troops killed over in Afghanistan. The number of people who were injured but survived is bound to be even higher.
What are some of the most common causes of injury and death among oil and gas workers? They include:
- Fires and explosions: Oil and gas are both volatile minerals. Explosions can be caused by any wrong move or sudden spark. Workers can easily be killed or burned when a piece of defective or deteriorated equipment causes an accidental ignition.
- Slips and falls: All it takes is a simple miscalculation for someone to fall off a platform or a ladder — and that can leave an injured worker out of work for months or years with a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage.
- Falling objects: Helmets are a must-have on the job, but they still don’t always offer enough protection. An oil rig could throw apart, a co-worker could drop a tool from above or a deck could collapse when someone is under it.
- Motor vehicle accidents: There are a lot of trucks in motion around an oil and gas field, and not every driver is as careful as they should be about watching out for pedestrians who are on the ground.
Based on figures from 2014 (the latest that are available), the fatality rate for oil and gas workers is about five times that of all other industries in the United States. In many cases, the companies involved in the production of these minerals know that they aren’t doing enough to keep their employees safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued more citations for more than 10,000 individual safety violations between 2008 and 2018. There’s no way that they couldn’t do better.
If you were seriously injured working an oil or gas field or your loved one was killed, find out more about your legal options today.