In most states, there’s little need for an attorney to understand oil field work as it relates to work accident lawsuits. Here in Texas, though, oil work is big business and work accident lawsuits here are far more likely to involve somebody on the front line of the petroleum industry. From start the finish, oil work is difficult. It’s risky from the well site preparation stage all the way through the process of rigging and drilling the well. We don’t even have to get as far as to the day-to-day maintenance of a rig, rig failure, or a rig explosion, to be concerned about accidents. Oil work at any stage is not for the faint of heart.
Of course, that doesn’t give permission for the corporations and contractors who employ oil workers slack off on efforts to maintain a safe work environment. Whether everyone understands the dangers of oil field work should have no bearing on employers’ responsibilities. In fact, the hazardous nature of the business makes it all the more important for those in charge of an oil field to make sure such physically exhausting work with such grave risks for injury is done in the safest way possible.
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a number of regulations designed to ensure safety, but too often, those regulations go unmet and, workers get hurt. Work accident lawsuits by injured oil field workers help take unsafe contractors to task, but more can be done to negate the dangers that are to oil work.
The preparation stage for an oil well really resembles any other kind of construction site. And according to 2009 data from U.S. Department of Labor, the greatest number of fatal work accidents in Texas occurred in the construction business. So, it’s already been reported, a high risk of work injury follows a Texas oil worker from the very first day at a drilling site.
Next, the rigging begins, and oil workers move from the common dangers of an early construction site to even greater risks. Nearly one-third of the injuries at this stage of the oil well build are caused when a worker is struck by an object like a falling tool, swinging equipment or supply load. Load movers have to be aware of everyone in their work space, and everyone on the ground needs to be aware of all the work happening up above. In the meantime, walkways are being set — leading to potential falls; the rig power system is being installed — creating potential for electrocution; and the pumps and lines of the circulating system are being rigged up — putting workers at risk of being caught in pinch points and tripping hazards.
It doesn’t matter at what point during a well drilling that you or your loved one was hurt – the result is often painful, costly and life-changing. The devil’s in the details at every point of well drilling, and only an experienced Texas lawyer is going to have the knowledge and skill to successfully pursue a claim for an injured oil worker. Ask Robert White about your options for a work accident lawsuit, or a wrongful death lawsuit, after an oil field accident.