Thinking about jobs that are inherently dangerous, oil and gas industries come right to mind. They are certainly at the top of the list. The most recent data shows that years 2013 through 2017, 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed while at work, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Many are familiar with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, but explosions are typically what come to mind when we think of oilfield accidents. While such events are undoubtedly catastrophic, there are other risks involved when working on the oilfield.
Truck Driver Fatigue and Hours-of-Service Rules
Fatigue among truck drivers is a leading cause of commercial vehicle accidents in the United States. Tired drivers are less alert and have slower reaction times than rested drivers, and exhausted truck drivers may even fall asleep at the wheel, often with fatal consequences.
Since truck driver fatigue can be deadly, the FMCSA governs how many hours a driver may work in a day and how many consecutive driving hours may be included in a driver’s daily schedule. It also regulates how many rest-breaks truck drivers must take, including overnight time to get sufficient sleep.
Oil Field Exemptions: Deadly Exceptions
Unfortunately, the hours-of-service rules that help most truck drivers stay safe do not apply to oilfield haulers or oil well drivers. A provision in the rules exempts these drivers from daily hours-of-service rules and on-duty time regulations.
- Employers of oilfield haulers are only required to provide 24 hours of rest after 70 hours on-duty in an eight-day time frame if their drivers haul equipment to supply oilfield operations.
- Oil well drivers that haul supplies between wells may not be allowed to include time waiting at the well-site as on-duty time. Often, such drivers may wait over 20 hours to unload and may not be allowed to rest before beginning their return drive.
Both situations create unsafe conditions for drivers, frequently leading to accidents
About Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C
With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal injury attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.
If you or a loved one was injured, please contact us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., is a locally based law firm focused on holding negligent individuals and companies accountable for their wrongdoing. We are not a personal injury mill that advertises nationwide. We provide individualized advocacy in attending to all aspects of claims that involve. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth, TX.
We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.