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How Dangerous Is Oilfield Work

July 27, 2022

Oilfield work is notoriously dangerous. Oilfield workers risk their lives daily to extract oil and gas from the ground. Despite the dangers, many oilfield workers choose to do this type of work because of the high pay and potential for bonuses. However, with the recent surge in oil prices, companies are pushing their oilfield workers harder and faster than ever before. This may lead to more accidents and injuries on the job.

Reports indicate that employment in the oilfield has been steadily growing in the past few months.  The Houston Chronicle reports that oil & gas companies “operating in Texas added 2,142 jobs for a total of 308,553, according to an analysis of preliminary federal data from the industry trade group Energy Workforce and Technology Council.”  As of July 25, 2022, there were 365 oil rigs operating in Texas.  There are 756 oil rigs operating in the United States.

As Texas drills for oil, oil & gas companies have to find oilfield workers to man and support the oil drilling operations.  According to the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, Texas added 2,142 oil field services jobs in June.  That means Texas “continues to lead the nation in the number of oil field services employees as the sector adds jobs for the eighth month in a row.”

With more oilfield workers in the oilfield, more workers are being exposed to risks and dangers associated with oil and gas extraction that could lead to significant, life-altering injuries.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified several safety hazards oilfield workers are exposed to at work:

  • Vehicle collisions
  • Being struck by, caught in, or caught between hazards
  • Explosions and fires
  • Falls
  • Work in confined spaces
  • High-pressure lines and equipment
  • Electrical and other hazardous energy
  • Machine hazards
  • Failure to plan before working

The hazards do not end there.  OSHA has identified health hazards associated with oil and gas extraction activities.  Hazards include the following:

  • Diesel particulate matter
  • Fatigue from being overworked
  • Hazardous chemicals, including byproducts of oil and gas drilling
  • Hydrocarbon gases and vapors and low oxygen environments
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Naturally occurring radioactive materials
  • Noise
  • Silica
  • Extreme temperatures

Given the dangers associated with oil and gas work and the hazards oilfield workers face every day, safety hazards, health hazards, incidents, and injuries must be identified promptly.  Federal law entitles oilfield workers to a safe workplace.  In fact, employers must keep workplaces free of known health and safety hazards.  And oilfield workers have the right to speak up about hazards without fear of retaliation. You also have the right to report your injury or illness, get copies of your medical records, work with equipment that is safe, be protected from dangerous and toxic chemicals, receive safety equipment for use on the job, and receive workplace safety and health training in a language you understand.

You need to call an experienced oilfield injury lawyer if you are catastrophically injured while working in the oilfield.  An oilfield injury lawyer can protect your rights and fight for you against one of the largest oil & gas companies in the world.  You could be entitled to compensation for your:

  • Past and future medical treatment
  • Lost income and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Impairment
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of consortium

The oilfield injury attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP represent injured oilfield workers in Texas, Louisiana, and across the United States.  Take a look at our results.  If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt or tragically killed in the oilfield, contact us at Morrow & Sheppard, LLP for a free, confidential consultation.

Discuss your case with our record-setting work and catastrophic injury attorneys.

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