Oil well sites in Texas are mostly in remote areas. Workers in the oil and gas industry typically have to drive long distances to well sites from their lodging sites or homes. Furthermore, some workers must frequently make long trips between equipment yards and well sites. Along with long shifts, driving long commutes could cause driver fatigue, which, in turn, can cause on-the-job injuries.
A survey indicated that almost four in 10 U.S. workers sleep less than the required seven hours of sleep per night. Adults can avoid fatigue and drowsy driving by sleeping from seven to nine hours every night. The lack of sleep causes the same impairment as drinking alcohol. Reportedly, shifts longer than 17 hours cause the same impairment level as a blood alcohol content of .05, and 24 hours awake can be compared with a BAC of .10.
Many drivers ignore the telltale signs of fatigue, thinking it will pass because it is a temporary condition. Opening the vehicle’s windows, turning up the music and other techniques are futile. The only cure for the condition is sleep. Some drivers think admitting to being fatigued or pulling over to take a short nap will reflect on their ability to do their jobs. However, fatigue is a biological response that must not be disregarded.
Oil and gas workers in Texas who suffered on-the-job injuries resulting from driver fatigue could be off work for extended periods. Along with lost wages, medical bills could be overwhelming. While they focus on recovering and getting back to work, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the process of claiming benefits to cover those expenses.