Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents
Working in the oil and gas industries is inherently dangerous, much like working on construction sites, requiring people to labor in extreme weather with heavy machinery and powerful, sometimes unpredictable forces. Unfortunately, a lack of effective government regulation coupled with inconsistency in the proper application of safety protocols is making workers less safe on the job. If you are seeking a San Antonio oilfield injury lawyer, contact the expert legal team at Carabin & Shaw.
A boom in the oil and gas industries in recent years has been beneficial to the economy while simultaneously having many detrimental consequences for the health of over 100,000 workers in Texas. In 2012 alone, there were 65 recorded fatalities—this number representing a ten-year high. From 2007 to 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 663 fatalities nationwide in oilfield-related industries, and 40% of these deaths happened in Texas.
The following are some common oilfield accident causes:
- Vehicle accidents
- Pipeline explosions
- Gas compressor stations
- Well explosions and fires
- Well drilling, completion, servicing, and operation
- Rig blowouts
- Equipment failure
- Falling equipment
- Falls from rigs and equipment
- Contractor negligence or recklessness
All too often oilfield accidents result in catastrophic injuries, such as severe burns from chemicals or fires, broken necks, backs and legs from falls, head injuries from equipment, electrocution, exposure to toxic chemicals and gases, loss of limbs from explosions or equipment, and internal organ injuries. Many of these injuries are preventable and companies should always be doing their utmost to create a culture of safety on their job sites that prioritizes worker safety above any other concerns. Anyone that has experienced an oilfield accident in the San Antonio are should consider it in his or her best interest to speak with a oilfield injury attorney in San Antonio.
As part of a lengthy investigative report in 2014, the Houston Chronicle detailed a number of alarming facts related to workplace injuries in the oil and gas industries:
- “At onshore oil and gas drilling sites, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is required to investigate only those accidents that kill workers or that cause three or more to be hospitalized. That translated to only about 150 of 18,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in the last six years in Texas.
- “When OSHA did investigate, it found safety violations in 78 percent of Texas accidents, finding that many could have been prevented with safer procedures or equipment.”
In 2007, the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board descried onshore oil fields as one of America’s most dangerous workplaces. In a case documented in the same investigative report mentioned above, two Texan men employed by Heartland Drilling Company Inc. died in separate and unrelated incidents within two weeks of each other. OSHA, after investigating, found that the company neglected its basic duties to protect workers from hazardous conditions on the job. OSHA proposed a $41,000 fine based on the violations it found, which Heartland Drilling chose to contest in court.
Your San Antonio oilfield injury lawyer is only a phone call away. If you or someone close to you has experienced an oilfield injury, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Oilfield injury law is one of our specialties at Carabin & Shaw, where we serve clients in San Antonio and many other locations across the state of Texas. You may be entitled to compensation as a result of any injuries you have sustained while working in the oil and gas industries.
Don’t hesitate to contact the legal professionals at Carabin & Shaw—we will be happy to provide you with a free, in-depth consultation to make sure that you fully understand all the details of your case.