Recently on Reddit, a man who said he worked as a flowback operator in Midland started an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread. He solicited questions about his job, and spent part of the time discussing worker safety. Some of his answers got highlighted in a recent Midland Telegraph-Reporter article.
Although he didn’t report any workplace deaths, his answers highlighted some of the daily risks that workers face – including fractures, severed fingers, and injuries requiring stitches. He also mentioned some close calls, such as this one:
Had a 15 foot chain fall from 50 feet and miss me by a foot.
Close calls could also involve faulty equipment, such as a strap breaking and sending heavy equipment plummeting near people, missing them by chance. As for the safety concerns of companies, he mentioned that some seemed dedicated to worker safety while others appeared not to care.
Although this is only one person’s account, it fits in with what other workers and other people with firsthand knowledge of oil fields have reported. Oil field work poses serious risks, including death but also a variety of costly injuries. The risks include the following:
- Leaks of various noxious gases.
- Chemical spills.
- Explosions that lead to deadly or otherwise severe burn injuries.
- Structural collapses that send workers plummeting.
- Malfunctioning equipment.
- Objects (often quite heavy) falling on workers.
- Oilfield blowouts, in which gas or crude oil violently and uncontrollably erupts.
These types of incidents can easily lead to traumatic brain and spine injuries, respiratory failure, burns, lacerations, severed limbs and broken bones.
Keep in mind that even when someone doesn’t suffer a severe injury, they could still run into problems. A single broken bone can result in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in medical bills and loss of wages.
Don’t hesitate to contact an oil field accident attorney if you’re injured on the job. Your attorney can help you deal with various insurance issues. And if your accident resulted from someone’s negligence, you can discuss a possible civil suit with your attorney and obtain strong legal representation in court.