What You Need To Know About Oil And Gas Accidents In Oklahoma
- April 1st, 2014
- Mike Hill
- Comments Off
Oil and gas workers are subject to some of the most hazardous industrial conditions in the US. Serious injuries and fatalities occur too often from an oil accident or gas accident. Oil and gas attorneys ensure that gas and oil companies are held accountable for oil drilling accidents and oil field accidents.
Oklahoma Oil and Gas Accidents
When an oil and gas worker is injured, the severity and duration of injuries are far worse than in other industry sectors, and recovery times often take twice as long. Oil and gas accidents typically occur for the following reasons:
- Carelessness or recklessness
- Delays in equipment maintenance or repair
- Failure to give proper training
- Failure to properly communication
- Safety procedures not in place or current
Given the amount of people employed by the gas and oil industry and the dangerous nature of oil and gas drilling, it is almost inevitable that accidents will occur. Oil and gas accidents can involve explosions, mishaps while raising pipeline, oil rig and derrick safety violations and other incidents, including:
- Drilling accidents
- Improper construction and maintenance
- Pipeline transportation accidents
- Storage problems, including contamination
- Salt dome accidents
It is important to seek advice from oil and gas attorneys because determining liability can often be difficult, and Worker’s Compensation may not cover all the expenses associated with long term serious injuries. An oil and gas lawyer can review your employment documents thoroughly to determine any indemnification clauses that may waive the liability of the employer, contractor or other third party.
From 2000 – 2009, pipeline accidents accounted for 2,554 significant incidents, 161 fatalities, and 576 injuries in the US.
There are nearly 500,000 miles of oil and gas transmission pipelines that crisscross the US. These lines often carry hazardous materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage in rural and urban areas. According to an investigation in the Austin American- Statesman, from 1984 – 2000 pipeline related fatalities occurred in more than 40 states.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 600 oil field and rig workers died on the job between 2002 and 2007. During that period, the number of deaths per year rose by around 70 percent, from 72 victims in 2002 to 125 in 2006 and a preliminary count of 120 in 2007.
During 2003-2007, the fatality rate among oil and gas extraction workers was nearly eight times that for all U.S. workers.
Drilling oil and gas wells industries had a rate of 4 cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses per 100 equivalent full-time workers. The rate for injuries and illnesses by size of business was:
- 1 – 10 Workers (7.5 cases per 100 workers)
- 11 – 49 Workers (13.7 cases per 100 workers)
- 50 – 249 Workers (4 cases per 100 workers)
- 250 – 999 Workers (3.5 cases per 100 workers)
- 1000+ Workers (0.9 cases per 100 workers)
Nearly half of all fatal injuries were attributed to highway motor-vehicle crashes and workers being struck by machinery or equipment. Gas explosion injuries, fires, chemical burns and dangerous falls or falling objects or equipment– workers are often hit on the head or back by tools or equipment—are just a few of the dangers occurring on a regular basis in the oil and gas industry.
The highest numbers of oil and gas extraction occupational fatalities occurred in Texas (38 percent), Louisiana (12 percent), Oklahoma (11 percent), Wyoming (8 percent), and New Mexico (5 percent). Among the states where most of the fatalities occurred, New Mexico (45.2 per 100,000) and Wyoming (58.5 per 100,000) had the highest average annual fatality rates, compared with Oklahoma (33.3 per 100,000), Louisiana (29.2 per 100,000), and Texas (25.3 per 100,000).
Currently, there is a major boom in the natural gas sector in the US, resulting in a huge need for workers in Rocky Mountain states like Wyoming, and the new Mackenzie gas project is expected to employ thousands of workers. But with more employment, higher fatality rates are likely to occur. The oil and gas industry is rife with inexperienced workers who work longer working hours (more overtime), and many rigs include older equipment with fewer safeguards.
According to a recent report, “Assault on America: A Decade of Petroleum Company Disaster, Pollution, and Profit”, from 2000 to 2010, the oil and gas industry accounted for hundreds of deaths, explosions, fires, seeps, and spills. This report, which includes a full List of Oil Disasters from January 2000 – June 2010, demonstrates that the BP incident is not isolated but an industry pattern that places profit ahead of communities, local economies, and the environment.
If you or a loved one has suffered damages in an Oklahoma oil and gas accident case, please speak to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation. Call Toll Free: 844.232.HURT (4878).