There is no doubt that Texas workers in the oil and gas industry put their lives on the line every day. Some say oilfield workers do not do it for the love of the job, but instead for the love of money. Regardless, they have the same rights to safe work environments as workers in any other industry.
The following statistics indicate the level of deadly dangers oilfield workers face:
- Increased numbers of job opportunities expose more workers to chemical carcinogens, explosive gases and dangerous machinery.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says deadly injuries caused work-related deaths to over 1,500 oilfield workers between 2008 and 2017.
- During the same period, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration identified almost 11,000 safety violations, of which about 64 percent were serious.
- The Centers for Disease Control says 25 out of every 100,000 workers lose their lives in the oil fields.
In some cases, workers indirectly connected to oilfield-related jobs lose their lives. One example is a man whose job it was to haul oil in a truck and then transfer it to storage tanks. One of his duties involved obtaining oil samples. He instantly lost his life when he opened the hatch of the tanker to take the sample and was overcome by the deadly fumes of hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
This worker’s surviving family members sued the company, and they ultimately agreed to a settlement. Families might be eligible for death benefits through the Texas workers’ compensation insurance system. However, if a third party’s negligence caused their loved one’s death in the oilfield, they might have grounds to file a civil lawsuit as well.