You likely knew how dangerous the work was when you accepted a job in the Texas oil or gas industry. Perhaps your family has worked in this industry for generations, and you grew up hearing your parents and grandparents talk about the disasters and near-disasters they witnessed throughout the years. Nevertheless, the money pays the bills and the job itself is a challenge you may enjoy.
Still, you are no stranger to the risks of the job, and you may have coworkers who have suffered injuries or lost their lives in accidents at work. Like any job that has such serious inherent dangers, you must take every precaution to stay safe and rely on your employer to provide you and your coworkers with thorough training and quality workers compensation insurance in case of injury.
Common accidents and injuries
Because there are many aspects to the oil or gas industry, your risk of injury may be different from someone who works in another area of the business. However, the most common accidents occur because of a moment of carelessness, a little too much confidence or a decision to cut corners at the risk of safe operations. About 1,400 accidents result in injuries to oil and gas workers each year, and another 1,000 or more die in accidents on the job such as these:
- Motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes of employee deaths in the gas and oil industry. Because these accidents often occur in remote areas, victims may wait a long while before emergency help arrives.
- The second most frequent cause of fatal injuries is when a worker is struck by an object, caught in machinery or caught in between pieces of equipment. Most often, these accidents are the result of one employee moving or engaging equipment without noticing another worker is nearby.
- Like construction workers, oil and gas workers are at risk of falling from heights, such as platforms in oil extraction areas.
- You may be among those who work in storage tanks, excavated areas or reserve pits where toxic fumes accumulate. Working in confined spaces can lead to asphyxiation as well as the danger of cave-in.
Your employer is responsible for keeping your work environment as safe as possible and providing you with all mandated safety equipment and training to keep you safe. If you should suffer an injury, you may be dealing with a life-changing event. Having the assistance of an attorney may omit any delays you might otherwise experience in receiving the workers' compensation benefits you need and deserve.