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Common Oil Field Accidents And Their Causes
Danger lurks everywhere in the oil and gas fields of Texas. Despite safety regulations and improvements in equipment and procedures, thousands of serious accidents happen every year. These examples are all too typical:
- Despite wearing a hard hat, a worker suffers a traumatic brain injury when a piece of equipment falls on their head.
- A worker suffers serious burns when leaking gas is ignited by a spark.
- An overworked truck driver causes an accident when delivering supplies to a work site.
At Wyatt Law Firm in San Antonio, we fight on behalf of injured oil and gas workers. Our attorneys are relentless warriors who seek maximum compensation and justice. If you have suffered an injury in the oil and gas fields of Texas, we will fight for you.
Call us today at 210-255-2231 for a free consultation.
How Do Oil And Gas Field Accidents Happen?
These are the most common types of accidents that occur on drilling and production sites in Texas:
Equipment failure — Oil drillers and producers use a wide range of equipment and tools in their work. This equipment is subject to failure due to poor design and construction, inadequate maintenance, mechanical failure, insufficient inspection procedures and other causes.
Well blowouts — Oil and gas wells have robust control mechanisms to minimize the possibility of blowouts. But sometimes they fail due to poor design, manufacture, maintenance or a mistake on the part of a petroleum engineer or worker. The cause or causes of a blowout can be complex, requiring intensive investigations by technical experts.
Explosions and fires — These can be sudden and unexpected events resulting from a well blowout, stray spark, static electricity, open flame or friction. The injuries suffered by workers can be catastrophic and potentially fatal.
Truck accidents — Every oil or gas site attracts many vehicles, including those transporting workers to the site, delivery trucks delivering supplies such as fracking sand, and other service trucks. Collisions can happen at the site itself or on the highways and roads leading to the sites.
Caught between and crushing accidents — These can happen when equipment falls on a worker, a vehicle backs up over a worker or in other ways. Again, the injuries can be serious and potentially fatal.
Toxic exposure — Hydrocarbons are inherently toxic. When workers are exposed to them in closed spaces, serious injury or death can happen. Storage tanks in particular are dangerous. For example, oil workers have to take great care when opening a thief hatch while doing a sampling procedure lest they inhale toxic levels of gas. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas is also quite hazardous.
Fracking accidents — During the fracking process, toxic chemicals can leak into the atmosphere, soil and water table. These expose both workers and members of the public to serious injury.
Who Can Claim Compensation?
Most, if not all, oil and gas workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury. But when an injury is caused by the negligence of a third party such as an equipment manufacturer, contractor or service provider, they can claim additional money. In many cases, the value of a third-party claim can far exceed that of the work comp benefits the worker receives.
Wyatt Law Firm has extensive experience and a record of success in workplace accident cases involving third-party claims. We welcome inquiries from referring law firms, injured workers and members of the public.