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Oil and Gas Extraction Accidents

The oil and gas extraction and support industries employ approximately 450,000 workers each year. These workers are engaged in a variety of job duties using highly specialized and dangerous equipment. The machinery and equipment used and the industrial processes employed at oil and gas drilling sites can pose significant dangers to workers. This is especially true when machinery and equipment is not maintained properly or if employees do not receive adequate on-site job training.

Common Oil and Gas Extraction Accidents

The fatality rate for oil and gas extraction workers is seven times higher than the rate for all U.S. industries. There are a variety of situations in which an employee may be injured at an oil and gas drilling site. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some common causes of injuries and fatalities include:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Struck-by/caught-in/caught-between
  • Explosions and fires
  • Falls
  • Confined spaces and
  • Chemical exposures

Employer’s Duty to Protect Health and Safety of Workers

Sometimes accidents cannot be avoided at oil and gas extraction sites. Unfortunately, it is too often the situation where an accident at an oil or gas extraction site occurred because the company failed to provide adequate health and safety measures. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, workers have the right to a safe workplace and employers are required to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.

About 4 out of every 10 workers killed in the oil and gas extraction industry are killed as a result of a highway vehicle incident. Well sites are located in rural, remote areas, and workers have to travel long distances to and from well sites, which increases the likelihood of an accident. Even though employers cannot prevent accidents caused by other drivers, employers can take certain steps to protect their employees and reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. These include developing safety policies (such as mandatory seat belt use), adopting a structured vehicle maintenance program, and providing training and teaching workers on proper driving techniques.

If a worker believes that an employer is not following the required OSHA standards or if there is a serious hazard, an employee can file a complaint with OSHA.

Contact an Oil Field Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered an injury at an oil or gas drilling site, an experienced Texas oil and gas field accident lawyer can help. At Zehl & Associates, we have a team of experienced Texas oil and gas filed accident attorneys who have substantial experience helping oil and gas extraction workers recover compensation for their injuries.

Contact one Zehl & Associates’ lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation. You can call us at 1-888-603-3636. Or, you can visit one of our offices located in Houston and Austin.