Ohio Oil & Gas Injuries and Deaths

Working in the oil and gas industry is not a job that should be taken lightly—long hours, dangerous conditions and heavy equipment can all lead to the potential for severe, debilitating injuries or even death.

The dangers that face those who are simply looking to provide for their family are many: failure to follow safety procedures around heavy machinery can result in injury, improperly maintained high-pressure equipment can result in explosions or fires, and accidents involving transport and work trucks are all too common.

This is not to say that precautions can’t be taken. Proper training and redundant safety systems go a long way toward avoiding issues, but what if you’re injury by no fault of your own? Whether it’s a mistake by a co-worker or negligence on the part of your employer, accidents do happen and you could ultimately pay the price.

It’s also important to realize that drilling companies as well as oil and gas companies are usually large corporate entities with many resources at their disposal. When a worker is injured, they will often work to minimize risk and protect their assets by any means possible. This can translate to a loss of compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

TYPES OF ACCIDENT-RELATED INJURIES

While workers in the oil and gas industries are aware of the inherent dangers of their job, it’s imperative that everyone on a job site follow proper protocols and ensure safety measures are in place or someone could get hurt.

Here are just some of common accidents that can occur at an oil and gas operation:

  • Slip and falls
  • Crane rigging injuries
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Being hit by falling objects or heavy equipment
  • Drilling rig failure or cable breaks
  • Fires
  • Explosions

OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY SAFETY RECORD

Even with heavily regulated operations and mandatory safety programs, the oil and gas industry is potentially one of the most hazardous workplaces in all of the United States. Even with such safeguards in place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that oil and gas experienced a fatality rate that was seven times higher than any other U.S. industry from 2003-2010. The CDC also stated that the industry has gone through a period of unexpected growth (2003-2013) and therefore doubled the size of its workforce. This increase in employment has resulted in a 27.6 percent increase in work-related fatalities as well.

THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

As we’ve progressed through the early part of this new millennium, the industry has seen a dramatic rise in demand for oil in gas, which has contrasted with a diminishing, readily available supply. Newer, more extreme methods of oil recovery such as fracking, tar sands extraction and deep-water drilling are all examples of ways the industry is attempting to procure and process oil and gas in ways previously thought to be too difficult or altogether unfeasible.

Such efforts to obtain oil and gas often mean oil and gas workers are pushed to their limits. Thus, there’s been a dramatic rise in accidents, injuries and deaths as companies and management put production before people. While there are government entities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that are meant to protect workers in such situations, the growth of the industry has led to a lapse in such oversight. This imbalance between resource availability and worker safety is not likely to change in the coming years—further increasing the danger levels for those on the job.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured while working in the oil and gas industry, you should be aware of your rights. You should know that your employer doesn’t always have your best interest in mind or a willingness to compensate you accordingly. Your best course of action is to contact a law firm such as Murray & Murray—one that is committed to helping the people of Ohio and fighting for the rights of those who have been injured through no fault of their own.

For an evaluation of your particular situation, call the firm today to schedule a free consultation at (419) 624-3000.

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