There’s explosive growth in the oil field industry, but unfortunately only some of the news is good. At the recent annual Energy Summit of Northeast Texas, speakers like the Texas Railroad Commissioner pointed out that oil and gas direct and indirect jobs are a third of the Texas economy.
The United States, particularly West Texas’ Permian Basin has become the largest producer in the world, outpacing even Saudi Arabia and Russia. Most likely in the next year we’ll also become the largest exporter of natural gas in the world through Texas LNG facilities on the Gulf Coast.
The problem is, drilling is dangerous. The more pressure there is to supply fossil fuels for exports, the greater the temptation to skip steps, rush work and circumvent safety measures. The occupational fatality rate for oil and gas extraction is four to seven times higher than among other U.S. workers.
From 2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers perished trying to extract oil and gas in America. About as many U.S. troops died fighting in Afghanistan during that period. – Texastribune.org
Factors That Increase Risk
Oil field injuries are more likely to occur in situations like these:
- Working on aging rigs
- Increased length of time on the job
- Being subcontracted
- Participating in rig maintenance, repairs or drilling operations
- Human error or equipment failure
- Working with weak operating systems
Most of the time, injuries at on-shore or off-shore facilities happened because there was a highway motor vehicle crash or an extreme impact or crush with on-site equipment.
Offshore Oil Field Injuries
Hollywood has made famous a number of offshore oil disasters. While we watch films like Deepwater Horizon on the edge of our seats, nothing could compare to the horror of actually experiencing such an event.
Offshore oil field injuries include broken bones, lost limbs, respiratory problems from inhaling toxic fumes, burns, spinal cord injury and damage, head injuries and brain trauma. Oil field workers spend longer in the hospital and off work than people injured at other jobs., which indicates greater injury severity. Average time off is 24 days compared to the 8 day average in other industries.
Transportation accidents are more likely because of the location of the work. You have to reach the rig by air or by water, often in bad weather or extreme conditions. When you get there, you use heavy duty machinery to extract combustible material from beneath the earth’s surface. It’s physically demanding around the clock.
Onshore Oil Field Injury
The Gulf of Mexico isn’t the only place to receive an oil field injury. The number of onshore rigs has increased dramatically because of the success rate of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.
Explosions and flash fires on land have increased because of fracturing. Most severely injured body regions in an NCBI study were the abdomen, arms and legs. The most common causes of onshore oilfield injury are as follows:
- Blunt force trauma from being struck by an object
- Being caught in machinery
Oil Field Accident Lawsuits
If you were injured in an oil field accident, you don’t really need someone to tell you the statistics. You need an oil field accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Monsour Law Firm, we have a history of getting justice for oil and gas industry workers injured on the job. Schedule your free consultation today.