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Many workplace accidents in the oilfields involve vehicle crashes

Workers on the Texas oil fields might not realize that more than 40 percent fatalities in the oil and gas industry involve motor vehicle accidents. These workers face an endless list of hazards that cause workplace accidents. However, safety authorities say drivers in the oil industry are vulnerable because of the long distances they travel, and their extended work shifts might lead to insufficient sleep and driver fatigue.

State and federal safety authorities hold employers responsible for the safety and health of oil and gas workers. They suggest employers put in place policies and programs to manage fatigue. Limiting the hours and distances drivers operate their vehicles per day might also prevent crashes, and working out a schedule that will ensure rested drivers are available to transport exhausted workers from remote locations when their shifts end.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says the natural body clocks of workers cause drivers to be less alert at night, in the early morning hours and also in the afternoon. Other matters that bring about fatigue include the number of hours the worker is awake, and fatigue can have the same effect as alcohol impairment on a driver. Medications and illnesses can cause drowsiness and inattentive driving, and monotonous, long, boring routes could cause drowsiness.

Victims of work-related vehicle accidents or any other workplace accidents might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Mounting medical bills and lost income can become overwhelming, but help is available. An attorney with extensive experience in dealing with the Texas workers' compensation system can provide the necessary support and guidance with the complicated claims process in pursuit of the benefits to which the injured worker is entitled.

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