Texas Oilfield Accidents
Oilfield operators often pay fairly high wages because they know how dangerous their assigned tasks can be for workers. In fact, between 2007 and 2012, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a total of 663 workers died in oilfield-related industries. Furthermore, about 40% of those deaths occurred right here in Texas.
New Accidents Occur Far Too Often
In March of 2015, three Texas oilfield workers died in Upton County due to an oil rig explosion. All three of the men were employed by “Mason, a pulling unit company, contracted by Parsley Energy.” Later that same year, a Texas Tribune article noted that the federal government was planning to fine the Odessa, Texas-based “Mason Well Service for six violations, including five that [were] considered ‘serious’ and one that was a ‘repeat.’”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed about $50,000 in fines against Mason. Reports indicated that “Midland-based Parsley Energy owned the well and contracted Mason to install the blowout preventer, a tool that seals, controls and monitors a well. Only Mason Well Service was cited” in the government announcement.
Most Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents and Disasters
- Transportation-related incidents; many are tied to fracking. Many Texans remain upset about all of the oilfield “fracking” activities that keep injuring workers and causing problems for innocent members of nearby residential communities. Oilfield hauling trucks are also increasing the number of fatal vehicle accidents in Texas and elsewhere;
- Contact with falling objects and mishandled drilling equipment. Human error often plays a key role in oilfield accidents. Therefore, it’s critical for employers to provide ongoing safety training to every worker;
- Use of worn-out or broken equipment. Oilfield owners and contractors have a duty to keep all equipment used in good repair. When they fail to meet this requirement, injuries often escalate;
- Maintaining faulty communications between on-site oilfield managers and workers. Safety training rules normally require oilfield operators to maintain direct contact with all workers — so they’ll only handle dangerous tasks when optimal conditions exist;
- Failing to regularly review all federal and state safety requirements with workers. When safety meetings are skipped, oilfield operators often fail to require the use of proper protective gear and to regularly monitor all worker activities;
- Forcing workers to complete tasks in an unreasonable amount of time. Work deadlines and goals must be reasonable – otherwise, rushed efforts will often cause serious and unnecessary accidents;
- Failing to properly pressurize a well before working on it. You can’t safely extract oil from a well when this critical process is overlooked;
- Improperly using combustible substances near an oil well. Oilfield fires and explosions are often caused by this type of carelessness;
- Requiring workers to take on double shifts. Some oilfield operators also fail to carefully monitor employees to be sure they’re running an alcohol and drug-free workforce.
Frequently Sustained Oilfield Accident Injuries/Fatalities
- Severe burns
- Head and neck injuries
- Loss of Limbs; broken arms
- Exposure to toxic substances and gases
If you’ve been seriously injured in an oilfield accident (or one occurring on an offshore oil platform), contact your Texas accident attorney right away. We also handle wrongful death claims after a loved one has died as a direct result of an oilfield accident.
Carlos Galliani is an experienced Texas accident attorney who fights hard to protect the rights of every client. He’s fully prepared to handle your serious oilfield accident lawsuit. Please call to discuss your case with Mr. Galliani at (214) 301-3400.