The oil and gas industry plays a vital role in the economy of Texas, providing employment opportunities for thousands of workers.
However, the nature of this industry comes with inherent risks, as employees are exposed to hazardous environments and potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis.
Common injuries in the oil and gas industry
The oil and gas fields are rife with threats to life and limb. Workers have to be on their guard against:
- Slips and falls: Working at heights, on uneven surfaces or in slippery conditions increases the risk of falls and slips. These incidents can easily lead to fractures, head injuries, and back injuries.
- Transportation accidents: Workers in the oil and gas industry often need to travel long distances between sites. This exposes them to the risk of transportation accidents along the way.
- Electrocution: There’s a lot of electricity involved on an oilfield, and many chemicals are highly conductive, which automatically creates the danger of electrocution – and that can easily prove fatal.
- Struck-by and caught-between accidents: Workers can be struck by moving objects or caught between pieces of heavy machinery, leading to serious injuries such as fractures, amputations and crush injuries.
- Fires and explosions: Working with flammable materials and equipment increases the risk of fires and explosions. These incidents can result in severe burns, respiratory injuries and other traumatic injuries.
- Chemical and toxic exposure: Chemicals, gases and hazardous materials are all around. Prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory problems, skin conditions and long-term health issues.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list.
What rights do injured oil and gas workers have?
Workers’ compensation provides financial and medical benefits to oil and gas workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Those benefits can include:
- Medical care: One of the primary benefits workers’ comp offers is necessary medical treatment for work-related injuries and illnesses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, surgeries and rehab.
- Replacement wages: If an injury or illness prevents an employee from working, they may receive a portion of their lost wages through temporary disability benefits.
- Vocational rehabilitation: In cases where an injury results in a permanent impairment, workers’ comp may provide vocational rehabilitation services to help the worker retrain or find different work.
- Death benefits: In the event of a work-related fatality, workers’ comp provides death benefits to the worker’s dependents. These benefits typically include reasonable funeral expenses and ongoing financial support.
The oil and gas industry presents unique risks and challenges to its workers – and workers’ comp is supposed to serve as a safety net. If your claim isn’t going as anticipated, it may be time to seek legal guidance.