Your hands and fingers are full of nerve endings, making injuries to them more painful than if you were injured elsewhere in your body. In fact, your hands and fingers have more nerve endings for each square centimeter, and more pain receptors than any other part of your body. So the fact that working at an oilfield or drilling oil comes with higher risk to your hands and fingers than other occupations is little comfort.
Hand and finger injuries made up 43 percent of all recorded injuries on drilling rigs in 2014, according to statistics from the International Association of Drilling Contractors. That's an increase from previous years: in 2013, they made up 41 percent, and in 2012, they made up 40 percent.
Common oil worker injuries to hands and fingers
While the oil industry is important to Texas, choosing to work in the oil industry comes with the knowledge that you could be injured. How could your hands and fingers be injured on the job?
Here are common ways oil workers injure their hands and fingers in work accidents:
- Hands or fingers caught between objects
- Struck by chemicals
- Coming in contact with vibration
- Exposure to heat
- Exposure to cold
- Exposure to infectious or biological agents
These can result in:
How can I reduce my risk for injury?
Some of these on-the-job injuries and accidents can be prevented. First, being aware of what could injure you and taking the necessary precautions can help. If your employer has the tools to minimize some dangerous hands-on activities by implementing engineering controls, that could be a step to preventing injuries. Using protective gloves, and making sure your employer provides protective gloves that are comfortable enough to wear all day and do not get in the way of doing your job, is another step you could take.
Under difficult working conditions, unfortunately accidents do happen. Faulty equipment or the negligence of others, or not being provided the appropriate safety training and equipment are all contributing factors to injuries that you and fellow oilfield workers face.
You are not alone if you have been injured
Hand and finger injuries are not only painful, but could impact the quality of your life for years. If you or a loved one have suffered a hand or finger injury on the job as an oil field or drilling worker, you are not alone. Not only are you dealing with the medical recovery of your injury, but if you are left unable to work either temporarily or permanently, you may be stressed about the financial implications. An attorney skilled in the area of workers' compensation claims for oilfield and oil drilling workers can be by your side every step of the way, helping you stand up for your rights. Letting an attorney handle the complexities of your case will lighten the burden and leave you to focus on recovery and getting your life back on track.