Oil field workers in Texas face an endless list of occupational hazards on every shift they work. According to safety authorities, three in five fatal oil field accidents involve caught-in or struck-by hazards. Workers in the oil and gas industry risk these injuries at all stages of well operations, from site preparation, through drilling and service stages.
Rolling, swinging, flying or falling objects can cause struck-by accidents. The severity of injuries caused by struck-by hazards depends on the force at impact. Workers at elevated levels could drop tools or other objects that might strike workers at lower levels. Even something as small as a nut or bolt could be a deadly projectile if dropped from a significant height. Lumber, scrap, pipes and other loose objects pose severe hazards for workers at lower levels.
Suspended loads pose similar risks, along with rigging and hoisting equipment. Swinging pipes, traveling blocks, spinning chains and tongs used for drill pipe connections have caused many catastrophic injuries. Being struck by excavators and cranes or their loads is not uncommon. The force and weight of mobile equipment and vehicles on the drill site can cause deadly crushing injuries, even at slow speeds.
Workers who are injured in oil field accidents may face mounting medical bills, and the loss of income can ruin any worker’s financial stability. Workers’ compensation insurance is optional in Texas, making it challenging to obtain financial relief. An experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney can assess the circumstances of an accident to determine the most appropriate way to proceed. Similarly, legal counsel can advocate for the surviving family members of oil field workers who lose their lives in work-related accidents.