The High Probability of Workplace Injury For Oil and Gas Workers
Unfortunately, the oil and gas extraction industry tends to be more dangerous than the average workplace. This industry often involves many different types of equipment and materials that constitute substantial risk factors such as heavy machinery, potentially explosive gases, and exposure to toxins. Therefore, oil and gas well drilling and servicing activities involve an environment that is full of hazards that could lead to injury and even death.
While Florida may not be one of the states traditionally associated with oil and gas drilling, there are over 150 oil wells currently being operated in the Sunshine State according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Therefore, the issue of potential workplace injury for oil and gas workers is a very real concern for many workers residing in our state as well as in many other places throughout the country.
How Substantial is the Risk of Workplace Injury For Oil and Gas Workers?
The risk of workplace injury is clearly substantial in this industry. According to the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry (onshore and offshore, combined) had a collective fatality rate seven times higher than for all U.S. workers in just a seven year period. Additionally, between January 2015 and February 2017, oil and gas extraction workers were involved in 602 incidents, some of which resulted in multiple injuries. This led to 481 hospitalizations and 166 amputations.
What Are the Workplace Hazards Faced by Oil and Gas Workers?
There are many risks of workplace injury in this industry, many of which go unreported in order to maintain the company’s safety record. These workplace hazards include:
- Car accidents. It may be surprising, but one of the most significant hazards for oil and gas workers is not actually on an oil rig, but is instead on the road. Notably, trucks play a large role in the daily work of oil workers and unfortunately, crashes can occur. According to OSHA, roughly four out of ten workers killed on the job in the oil industry are killed in a traffic crash.
- Fall hazards. There are fall risks everywhere in the oil and gas industry, from slipping on a surface where oil or gas has spilled to falling from ladders and platforms. And while safety precautions such as harnesses and guardrails should be used, they are not 100 percent effective at preventing accidents and injuries even when used correctly.
- Explosions. The widespread use of combustible materials on industrial job sites means that there is an increased risk of fires and explosions. Sadly, resulting explosions can lead to burns and other injuries that can be devastating and life-changing.
Have You Been Injured While Working in the Oil and Gas Industry?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working in the oil and gas industry that you believe warrants entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits, allow us to help. The process for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be overwhelming and challenging for anyone who has been injured at work. Fortunately, the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you and you should allow us to help you get the benefits you deserve. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.