Oil and Gas Accident Statistics
It is no secret that workers in the oil and gas industry face dangerous situations everyday while on the job. In terms of potential risks and accidents, it is one of the most hazardous industries in the world. Despite safety training and strict standards and procedures, many oil and gas workers find themselves injured on the job, or worse, killed. In fact, the fatality rate among the oil and gas extraction industry is seven times higher than among U.S. workers in other industries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Texas in particular is home to many oil and gas extraction sites, both on land and offshore. With such a booming industry that doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, the concern for oil and gas industry accidents and fatalities is high among Texas workers. With 489 workers in the industry killed on the job from 2013 to 2017, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many are left wondering what can be done to prevent these life-threatening accidents in the workplace?
Aside from educating employees with in-depth safety trainings and providing proper protective gear, the next steps to ensure oil and gas worker safety is understanding the common causes of these occupational accidents and the types of injuries sustained in order to better prepare workers and hopefully prevent catastrophes.
Common Causes of Oil And Gas Industry Accidents
Studies have found many common causes of oil and gas industry accidents, including:
- Explosions and fires
- Slips and falls
- Struck-by/Caught-in/Caught-between accidents
- Operating heavy machinery
- Transportation accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Heavy lifting of materials
- Working in confined spaces
- Temperature extremes
- Worker fatigue from long hours
- Lack of planning and prevention
It is clear the existence of heavy machinery, dangerous equipment, and harmful chemicals are major contributing factors to oil and gas industry accidents. When those working on a jobsite are improperly trained (or not trained at all) in how to deal with these hazards and lack of protective gear is factored in, it is no wonder why so many workers are getting injured on the job. All of this potential for accidents means that working on an oilfield or offshore can lead to a variety of serious injuries.
Common Oil and Gas Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries sustained in an oil and gas industry work environment include:
- Serious burn injuries: caused by fires, explosions, extreme steam, dealing with harsh chemicals, or electrical sources.
- Head and brain injuries: caused by slips and falls in hazardous work environments, work locations high off the ground, or a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Broken bones: caused by slips and falls while working high off the ground, dealing with heavy machinery without proper training, and not being given appropriate PPE to wear and use.
- Amputations: caused by dealing with heavy machinery and materials that could possibly fall or malfunction and crush body parts in the process.
- Road injuries: caused by poor driving conditions in oil-producing areas. In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported 1,673 deaths and over 6,000 injuries in motor vehicle accidents on Texas roads in areas where oil and gas production was rampant.
Planning and Prevention
Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of oil and gas industry accidents is that many of them can be completely avoided. Safety and risk management is crucial in any workplace, but in the oil and gas industry, it can be a matter of life and death on a daily basis. Working in extreme conditions for long periods of time puts all oil and gas workers at risk. In order to combat the growing number of injuries and fatalities among these workers, there must be an established safety program developed and implemented in every workplace. This protocol should include best practices for:
- Fire protection
- Fall protection
- Heavy machinery education
- Proper chemical storage
- Chemical exposure instruction
- Electrical work training
- Personal protective equipment use
- Evacuation procedures
Being proactive in such a dangerous work environment is essential in order to keep workers safe. When one employee suffers an injury or death, the entire team feels it and is put at even greater risk of harm. Along with the planning and prevention pieces mentioned above, things like adequate training, clear communication, and regular break periods can make all the difference in how safe a work environment and its workers will be.
Amarillo Oil and Gas Accident Attorneys
No matter how the accident occurred, we know that any type of oil and gas injury is serious and can be disastrous for workers and their families. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs in this industry, companies are oftentimes more concerned about the work getting done or saving face, rather than the health of the injured employee. This means they also avoid paying what is fair, leaving injured parties and their loved ones with medical bills and financial worries.
Finding the right attorney to take on large oil and gas companies is crucial when dealing with these types of claims. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge needed to help walk you through this legal process, fight for your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case at no cost.