Common Oilfield Injury Cases
Oil Fields can be very dangerous places. That is a fact most people know. Yet, most people, including oilfield workers all over Texas, don’t know that they may be entitled to compensation for injuries they sustain on the job.
According to data from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as many as 4,000 U.S. oilfield workers are injured in workplace accidents each year. While the number of injuries has declined in recent years, oilfields remain one of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States.
In order to fully understand the dangers of oil fields, you have to understand what the most common personal injury accidents are and what the most common injuries sustained are. Knowing this information can be the difference between getting compensated for your oilfield accident and not getting compensated.
Common Oilfield Accidents
Most oilfield accidents that did not result in fatalities or catastrophes were not reported prior to 2015, which can make it difficult to truly understand how common accidents are on oilfields in the United States. Due to the large volume of oilfields in Texas, it is the leading state for fatal oilfield injuries.
Some of the most common oilfield accidents include:
Fire and Explosions: Explosions are pretty common occurrences on oilfields, particularly due to the fact that gas is combustible. These fires and explosions can be caused by any number of activities, such as well blowouts, welding, and drilling.
Equipment Accidents: With so much heavy equipment moving, accidents involving contact with equipment are also very common. Whether it is moving pipes, rotary tables or tongs, anytime oilfield equipment strikes an employee, there is the possibility of serious injury.
Falls: Probably the most common accident, falls occur frequently. The combination of chemicals, gas and heavy machinery make oilfields difficult to navigate and the potential for falls is very high.
Common Oilfield Injuries
Now that we have discussed the most common accidents, it is important to also understand the injuries that commonly occur due to those accidents. These injuries can be the result of handling chemicals, falling on the job or due to the machinery used.
Here are some of the most common oilfield injuries:
Burns: With so many chemicals and gas, burns are very common. The severity of the burns can vary significantly, but all burns should be treated by a medical professional.
Back/Neck Injuries: As mentioned above, the machinery used by oilfield employees is heavy and lifting these tools can be difficult. Without proper technique, lifting this equipment can cause severe back and neck injuries. The slippery conditions can also add to the back injuries suffered by oilfield employees.
Arm/Leg Injuries: The heavy equipment and slippery conditions to not only present a danger to employees back and necks. These conditions can also cause severe arm and leg injuries as well. From limbs being caught in machines to falls, these accidents can cause broken bones, amputations, and severe trauma.
Eye Injuries: The exposure to chemicals on a regular basis can also lead to eye damage which could be permanent. The debris that is also ever-present can also cause eye injuries and possible infections.
Head Injuries: While most oilfield employees wear protective headgear while on the job, head injuries still occur. These include concussions, lacerations, etc. which can be serious if not treated properly. Head injuries can occur due to falling equipment or slips and falls.
How To Handle An Oilfield Injury
While oilfield injuries may be common, many oilfield employees do not know how to handle being injured on the job. These injuries can have long-term consequences, including impacting your ability to work, so it is important to understand what you need to do when you are injured.
The first step is to report your injury to your employer immediately. As soon as you do this, you will also want to begin documenting how the injury occurred. While documenting the accident is important, you should not neglect your personal well-being to do so. If you need medical assistance right away, you should seek the help you need.
Once you have seen to your personal well-being and have notified your employer of the injury, you should seek the guidance of an oilfield injury attorney. After filing an injury report with your employer, they will open an investigation into the incident. Their insurer will also be aiding them in the investigation and they will be trying to minimize any liability of the company.
This is why it is so important to have an oilfield injury attorney to help you navigate this process. You will be speaking with your employer and insurance adjusters who will be asking you questions regarding the accident and the injuries you suffered. During these discussions, it is important to have legal representation to ensure you get the compensation you deserve based on the injuries you suffered.
Wrongful Death Oilfield Lawsuits
In the event an oilfield accident results in the death of the employee, family members of that employee can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. Similar to the oilfield personal injury case, it is important to hire an oilfield injury attorney in this situation. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you navigate the wrongful death process and get you the compensation you need.
Were You Involved In An Oilfield Accident?
If you or someone you know suffered an oilfield injury in the Houston or Odessa area, contact The Law Offices of Heriberto Ramos. Our team of professional Houston and Odessa personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to successfully manage your personal injury claim. Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.