Workers in the onshore oil drilling industry in Texas face an endless list of workplace injury hazards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the injury risks drilling workers have to deal with are significantly more than those faced by workers in other industries. Hazards range from falls and machinery-related dangers to fire and toxic chemical exposure.
The nature of petroleum, which is highly flammable, makes fire and burn injuries the major injury hazard. Chemicals like hydrogen sulfide and excessive buildup in the well can cause explosions that could cause fatal injuries. The heights at which drilling workers have to work pose fall risks, and tools dropped from elevated work areas can kill workers at lower levels.
A significant number of severe injuries and even deaths on oil rigs are caused by machinery and heavy equipment like forklifts and cranes. The drill, support units and spinning machinery are hazardous in themselves, and the excessive noise levels exacerbate the risks. Drilling workers often work long hours, and fatigue can slow down reaction times, often with catastrophic consequences.
Injured oil rig workers are not necessarily eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because carrying the insurance is optional for Texas employers. For that reason, many injured drilling workers choose to seek the support and guidance of legal counsel. An attorney with experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury can assist with the pursuit of maximum compensation under applicable laws. Along with financial relief to cover medical bills and lost wages, a personal injury lawsuit can lead to a monetary judgment that includes other financial and emotional damages.