Fatal and injurious oilfield accidents in Texas are all too common. In fact, the oil and gas industry has some of the highest rates of work-related accidents. Big oil companies and lobbies like the American Petroleum Institute (API) dispute the federal statistics, asserting that the industry has low rates of injury compared to other occupations.
In reality, experts consider oilfield accident statistics underreported for many reasons:
- Federal and state safety regulations differ. For example, the oil and gas industry in Texas is regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas, but the Oklahoma industry abides by OSHA standards.
- Incident reporting and data collection for oilfield accident statistics can straddle multiple institutions. Although OSHA primarily handles work-related severe injury and fatality reports, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), state agencies, and private institutes also gather data on oilfield accidents, leading to various reporting discrepancies.
- An accident report may depend on varying definitions of a severe injury. What constitutes a “severe injury” and what must be reported are debated by both regulatory agencies and workers on the job.
These intertwining factors lend to the widely recognized statistical discrepancies in this field and the rumors of work-related injuries going unreported.
Even though OSHA is the authority that penalizes company violations leading to injuries and fatalities, it is arguably not in oil and gas workers’ corner. OSHA investigates oilfield accidents and finds company violations with stunning frequency. When it finds that a company’s safety violation caused an accident, OSHA then imposes fines and penalties, which are usually contested by the oil and gas companies. Unfortunately, for the sake of quick settlements and hazard abatement, OSHA often reduces fines and sometimes dismisses penalties altogether. The lenient atmosphere doesn’t discourage the kinds of negligent safety infractions that harm and kill oil and gas employees.
Big oil and big gov work together to regulate worker safety and document accidents in the oil and gas industry. Yet oilfield accidents get downplayed because the statistics underrepresent the prevalence of serious injury-causing accidents and because corporate and government parties negotiate to resolve settlements instead of restoring victims.
You need someone in your corner looking out for you. If you have been injured in an oilfield accident, you could be entitled to more reparation than worker’s compensation offered by your employer. At Wyatt Law Firm, we work with specialists to thoroughly investigate oilfield accidents, and our experienced oilfield accident attorneys will aggressively litigate your case. We have what it takes to fight big corporations – we’ve done it successfully before.
Let us tell your story. Let us fight for you.