If you work the hydraulic fracturing field, more commonly known as “fracking,” then it’s unlikely that you need anyone to tell you how dangerous this oil and gas work is.
Many workers in this industry spend their days using heavy equipment or inserting giant drills into the ground to see whether they can tap into oil reserves. Workers’ days are bookended by traveling back and forth between job sites across weakened parcels of land.
Your workday is long, and you likely put out intensive labor. It’s no wonder that your injury risk in this industry is so high. Do you know which injuries you’re most apt to suffer on the job?
Toxic exposure risks oil and gas workers face
Fracking involves the use of various chemicals to effectuate the drilling and extraction process. The use of these chemicals turns into a release of toxins, known as emissions, back into the air. Oil and gas workers who aren’t provided with adequate safety equipment risk breathing in these harmful substances, such as methane, hydrogen sulfide and nitrogen oxide. These substances may also seep into the water. Any exposure to them may cause cancer.
Explosion and burn-related injuries fracking workers face
The introduction of chemicals into the ground to extract oil reserves weakens the ground beneath, causing explosions or fires. Earthquakes may occur if the drilling is too close to fault lines. Catastrophic injuries often result among workers when these unpredictable events occur.
How fracking leaves workers vulnerable to auto accidents
Oil and gas employees often work around the clock in shifts, so there’s generally a constant traffic flow in and out of these sites. There’s often more than just people-transport happening. Tools and chemicals are traveling to and from these sites as well. This may explain why National Institutes of Health (NIH) data shows that at least 33% of oil and gas workers die in motor vehicle accidents.
You have rights if your fracking job left you injured
Many workers make the mistake of thinking that they assume all the risk when they take on dangerous jobs such as fracking. This isn’t the case. Employers are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their employees. You might be entitled to workers’ compensation if you suffered debilitating injuries on the job.