Do you earn a living in a Texas oil field? If so, no one needs to tell you how dangerous such work can be. You may have also noticed, however, that the media and data published in the industry often understates the danger and lists injury statistics as lower than they may be in reality. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's data seems to more accurately reflect the number of serious injuries oil-field workers suffer annually throughout the nation.
Even minor workplace injuries can cause you to be laid up in recovery for quite some time. It's not uncommon for recovering workers to encounter undue financial hardships when they try to keep up with medical bills and make ends meet at home. You may be able to stay one step ahead of the game if you arm yourself with information ahead of time regarding what benefits are available to you if you suffer an injury on the job and also who is available to provide guidance and support if needed.
Most frequently reported injuries for oil-field workers
Some injuries develop over time as opposed to sudden suffering brought on in an acute situation like an accident in the field involving malfunctioning equipment or human error on the job. The following list includes what types of injuries you may be at risk for if you work in a Texas oil field:
- Amputation: Oil drilling work often involves use of heavy machinery. When something goes wrong, it is very possible to lose a finger or entire limb in the process.
- Fractures and broken bones: If you are pinned under a massive vehicle or stuck between pieces of equipment, you stand a great chance of suffering one or more broken bones or fractures.
- Burns: Oil field work always includes potential fire hazards. Severe burns are at the top of most lists for the most common, severe workplace injuries in the oil industry.
- Blunt force trauma: As an oil field worker, you may also be at risk to be hit with heavy objects falling from above.
In the past, your Texas employer was only obligated to report workplace injuries to OSHA if a particular incident resulted in catastrophic injury or death. Regulations changed in 2015, however. Your employer must now also report any incident that results in a hospital stay or loss of a body part. Data shows support activities for the oil and gas industry have the highest rate of severe injury in companies with 100,000 or more workers.
Where to seek support
If you suffer a workplace injury, you will no doubt want to get the ball rolling to claim benefits that can help you stay afloat financially during your recovery. The process is often long and arduous and can be very stressful. For this reason, many recovering Texas workers enlist the aid of experienced workers' compensation attorneys who can act on their behalves to address legal issues so they can focus on matters related to their own physical and emotional recoveries at home.