Oil and gas workers in Texas face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country. Plants, refineries and oilfields are all subject to stringent government safety regulations, but sadly, many times these regulations are not enough. Worse still, many oil and gas companies and contractors fail to meet the government’s standards – often putting the lives of their workers on the line.
Government Statistics on Oil and Gas Industry Safety
According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), oil and gas extraction workers face a fatality rate that is seven times higher than the rate in all other industries across America. Since at least the early 1990s, on average more than 100 employees working in plants, refineries and oilfields have lost their lives each year. OSHA also reports that:
- Approximately 40 percent of oil and gas extraction-related deaths result from vehicle collisions.
- Close to 60 percent of oil and gas fatalities result from workers being struck by, caught in, or caught in between hazards such as moving equipment and high-pressure lines.
- Most other fatal industrial accidents in plants, refineries and oilfields result from explosions, fires, electrical hazards, and falls.
The law requires employers to provide safe working environments and take appropriate measures to ensure their workers’ safety. Unfortunately, due to financial concerns, poor management and other factors, they often fall short of meeting their obligations.
Dangerous Hazards for Oil and Gas Workers in Texas
These and other issues result in employees working in plants, refineries and oilfields being exposed to numerous serious risks on a daily basis. Even workers at safety-compliant companies are not immune from the hazards of working in oil and gas. Some of the most common safety concerns for workers include:
- Chemical exposure
- Confined spaces without safe evacuation routes
- Dangerous equipment being operated by inadequately-trained or negligent workers
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Flammable and explosive chemicals and materials
- Heavy traffic on highways in oilfield areas
- Long hours in harsh working environments
- Risk for unprotected falls
As a victim of injuries in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. In order to recover workers’ compensation, your employer does not need to be at fault for your injuries; however, you do need to follow strict procedural requirements in order to ensure that you receive the full amount you are owed. If someone other than your employer is to blame, or if your injuries are the result of a product defect, you may be entitled to file a personal injury or product liability claim as well.
Speak to the Houston Injury Lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP
If you have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one working in the oil and gas industry, a variety of laws may entitle you to a significant financial award. At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we have particular experience representing workers in Texas’s oilfields and refineries, and we are intimately familiar with the laws that entitle them to just compensation. To discuss your situation with one of our experienced attorneys, call our Houston law offices at (800) 489-2216 or contact us online today.