Gas and oil extraction workers face a fatality rate eight times higher than the average of all other occupations, according to a recent NPR report. Fatalities most often occur from “struck by” oil drilling accidents.
Dangers of Oil Drilling
According to the Department of Labor, “struck by” is one of the more common causes of death at a drilling site. This type of accident can occur in various conditions, including when a worker is fatally struck by a loose portion of a rig or when a large piece of metal is sent airborne from high-pressure releases of oil and gas.
These dangers have increased with the use of inexperienced and unqualified workers. The oil industry is in a time of high demand using double the amount of rigs compared to last year. The rigs require workers, and companies are bringing in people to fill open positions that may have little to no experience in the oil field.
In addition to a poorly trained workforce, many rigs that were “mothballed” are now being put into use. These old rigs lack important safety features designed to decrease worker fatalities.
Texas Needs Improved Oil Drilling Safety Conditions
Fatal oil drilling accidents most often occur at smaller companies that are unable to provide adequate health and safety programs. Although current practices, including monthly meetings with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), are a step in the right direction, more measures are needed to improve safety conditions for workers in the industry.
If you or a loved one were injured while working for an oil drilling company, remedies are available to cover medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as lost wages and pain and suffering. It is important to contact an experienced oil drilling accident lawyer to discuss your claim and ensure all legal rights and remedies are protected.