San Antonio Legal Blog

The importance of safety training in the oil fields

Workers in the oil and gas industries face high risk of serious or fatal injuries due to the nature of the job duties on oil fields in Texas. According to Bloomberg, some have expressed concern that a rapidly expanding workforce could lead to negligence in providing the proper training, while downturns could lead to cutting corners in the same area. However, whether the market for oil production is up or down, safety should always be a top priority for companies.

To promote proper instruction and education on best practices for oil field employees, the Texas Department of Insurance provides a wide range of free safety training materials. Slip and falls, electrocution, vehicle accidents, confined space accidents and crush injuries are all common in the industry, but often, these are preventable. With the information available, employers have no reason to put their workers in danger through ignorance.

Drilling home the facts regarding oil industry workplace hazards

Many Texas workers between ages 18 and 35 earn their livings in the oil industry. In San Antonio, Lubbock, Midland and surrounding regions, this type of work is a mainstay for a diverse population from various ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. The work is not without its dangers, however, and preventing disaster often lies in knowing the risks ahead of time, as well as what to do if an accident occurs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration often investigates the aftermaths of oil industry workplace accidents. In doing so, the administration has come up with a list of the top hazards associated with this type of work. If you or your loved one work in the oil fields, you'll want to beware of the many risks involved.

Study shows road debris is a major hazard on highways

Safety on the roadways is a major concern for everyone, and Texas drivers should take their responsibilities seriously. This goes beyond activities and behaviors behind the wheel, though. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research organization, drivers also need to ensure that they are not leaving anything behind. A study released in 2016 indicates that road debris causes thousands of crashes every year.

When identifying what constitutes a road debris-related accident, researchers did not count any crashes that occurred because of trees or live animals in the roadways, objects related to construction in work zones or anything left on the road after a motor vehicle collision. Statistics did include any accident that a police report indicated had happened because a vehicle was struck by something falling off of or detaching from another vehicle, or because a driver swerved to miss an object in the road.

Workers’ compensation health care networks

If you sustain an injury on the job in San Antonio, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance typically covers the costs of your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages while you recover. We at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., understand the state laws that apply in work-related injury cases, and the protections that are offered to employees who are hurt in the workplace.

Choosing a doctor is always a personal matter, and being assigned to one who does not have the patience or the expertise your case requires could delay your recovery. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, your employer may provide you with medical care through a workers’ compensation health care network. This system involves collaboration between a group of contracted health care providers who treat on-the-job injuries.

Powerline electrocutes workers moving flagpole

When a serious injury accident happens on the job in Texas, it may be difficult to pin down a single trigger for the incident. For example, a person performing a job without proper training may not directly cause things to go awry. However, that could be an influencing factor if something goes wrong and that worker does not know how to handle the circumstances, or if he or she does not have the proper tools to do the job.

A recent accident caused severe injuries for three workers who were performing some construction duties at a Texas apartment complex. The men were electrocuted when the flagpole they were removing from its sleeve touched a live electric wire. A spokesman from the electric company who responded to the incident stated that the men may have lost control of the flagpole due to the wind.

Is truck platooning coming to Texas?

It is not unusual for you to encounter semi-trucks with two or even three trailers on the Texas roadways. The couplings that link these vehicles are visible, but there may soon be large trucks crossing the state that are connected solely through technology. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute provided a demonstration to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration that indicates how the truck platooning system works.

If a driver gets too close to your rear bumper, it may make you feel uncomfortable. However, a successful truck platoon is all about tailgating. When trucks follow each other closely, it reduces wind resistance and increases fuel efficiency. This may benefit you in the form of lower costs on consumer goods that have been shipped via highway.

Increasing safety in Texas manufacturing facilities

Depending on the type and size of a manufacturing facility, a safety manager can be a key component to the continued health and well-being of every employee. However, a safety manager is not the only way to improve standards and implement safety measures within a manufacturing facility. Texas employers bear the responsibility of preventing accidents and making all workplaces as reasonably safe as possible.

If you work in a manufacturing facility, plant, assembly location or factory, you are entitled to a workplace free from unnecessary risks and hazards. You may have an inherently risky job, but you are still entitled to safety and recovery in the event of an accident and injury in the workplace.

Encouraging teens to wear seat belts

As much as parents hope their teens will never be in a car accident, no one can assume that this will never happen. One of the easiest ways to be prepared is to wear a seat belt. However, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, over 51 percent of fatally injured drivers ages 16 to 19 and over 60 percent of fatally injured passengers in the same age range were not restrained. Motor vehicle crashes are the primary cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20.

Although Texas has passed laws mandating seat belt use for every person in the vehicle, it may take much more than the potential for a traffic ticket to convince teens to buckle up. Research indicates that many are influenced by parent involvement by way of modeling behaviors, setting rules and providing information. Awareness programs through the community and through social media may also prompt compliance, as well as incentives through school programs and others. It may also make a difference if teens are encouraged to watch out for each other and promote safety belt use to friends.

3 hazards of drilling equipment maintenance

When you are performing proper maintenance on oilfield sites, you are involved in helping to prevent others from being injured or killed in an accident or explosion. However, doing so could put your own life and limbs at risk. The legal team at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C., often counsels victims of accidents involving drilling equipment.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration identifies three primary dangers that you might come across, no matter where you work on the drilling equipment.

Many factors may have led to high death toll in Texas crash

Distracted driving poses a constant threat on the Texas roadways due to the use of cellphones behind the wheel. Even a vehicle with every safety feature available may not be able to prevent a fatality in a head-on collision with a texting driver. However, many vehicles do not have the technology that manufacturers are adding to new automobiles, and some may not even have basic equipment to keep passengers safe.

In a recent crash between a pickup truck and a minibus, 12 older adult passengers were killed, as well as the bus driver. While the fact that both vehicles were traveling in opposite directions at highway speeds was likely relevant to the number of fatalities, experts believe that the physical conditions of those who died may also have been directly related. As seniors between the ages of 61 and 87, these passengers were among the age range most susceptible to fatal injuries in a collision.

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