Texas is the leading oil producer in the country, and there are over 140,000 acres worth of oil fields across the state. Because of this, there are thousands of people putting themselves in harm's way each day by working in the oil and gas industry.
A 2021 report from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) found that there was about a 43% increase in oilfield fatalities from the previous year. There was also a 10% increase in the overall total recordable injury rate. To better understand the severe nature of the job, it's important to know which injuries may be more common as well as their causes and address some of the inherent risks associated with working in the oilfield.
Related Reading: Texas is Responsible for 40% of U.S. Oil Field Fatalities
Risks of Working in the Oil and Gas Industry
Working in the oil and gas industry can be a dangerous job due to several factors. First, many of the tasks require working with heavy machinery or around hazardous materials like flammable liquids, toxic gasses, and other hazardous chemicals. Other risks include slips, trips, and falls due to uneven terrain, poor lighting conditions in some areas, as well as exposure to dust and allergens. Additionally, there is a risk of injury due to extreme temperatures in certain areas and fatigue from long hours, tight deadlines, and demanding work schedules.
However, one of the most commonly overlooked causes of oilfield fatalities is vehicle-related accidents. Due to the size of some oil and gas sites, it is not uncommon for employees and contractors to be driving in their own vehicles on site. Even though the speed limit may be lower than that of a normal roadway, drivers may act recklessly and may not acknowledge marked-off areas that could be dangerous. Other risks associated with vehicle-related accidents are impaired driving due to fatigue, alcohol or drug use, and distraction from cell phones.
Which Injuries Commonly Result?
The most common injuries in oil and gas operations are related to musculoskeletal strain, such as back pain, shoulder pain, and joint problems. These can be caused by lifting heavy objects or working with repetitive motions over time. Additionally, cuts, bruises, burns, hearing loss from loud noises at sites, skin irritations from hazardous materials, and respiratory issues from dust and gas inhalation are all very common.
Steps to Protect Workers
The oil and gas industry can take a few steps to protect its workers from harm. First, employers should conduct job-specific safety training for employees that covers the potential risks associated with the work they will be doing. They should also provide the necessary safety equipment, such as personal protective gear and hard hats. Additionally, employers should ensure that vehicles on site are regularly inspected for maintenance and safety issues. Finally, it is important to keep lines of communication open between workers and supervisors so that any potential safety concerns can be addressed quickly.
By taking proactive steps to protect workers in the oil and gas industry, companies can help reduce injuries and fatalities, while also maintaining a safe work environment. With proper safety protocols in place, the risks associated with working in this industry can be minimized.
How Our Texas Attorneys Can Help You After an Injury
Our attorneys at The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC are experienced in representing injured workers and their families after oilfield accidents. We understand the complexities of these cases and will fight to get you the justice you deserve. Our goal is to ensure that victims and their families receive the maximum compensation possible for their injuries, pain, and suffering. We have helped countless individuals who have been hurt on the job, and our team is committed to providing you with the personalized legal service you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your legal options by calling (210) 807-3178 or filling out this short form.