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The Causes of Work Injuries and Oil Fields Accidents

Matt Murphy Jul 12, 2017

Work Injuries and Oil FieldsWhile it is true that oil and gas industry careers can be rewarding, they can also be quite dangerous. This is due, in part, to companies cutting corners for the sake of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is also due, in part, to the nature of the job.

The licensed personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm, serving Great Falls, MT, Billings, MT, and Missoula, MT, represent workers who have suffered injuries while working in oil fields. We understand that, between medical costs and lost wages, a work injury can be devastating. That is why we work diligently to help work injuries and oil field accident victims recover compensation for their losses.

Types of Injuries That Take Place in Oil Fields

Due to a myriad of factors such as long hours, working with dangerous equipment, and exposure to toxic chemicals, injuries in oil fields are not a rarity. Some oil field injuries may result from:

  • Falls
  • Strikes from falling objects
  • Truck accidents
  • Explosions
  • Fires
  • Electrocution
  • Defective machinery
  • Collapsed rigs
  • Exposure to toxic fumes

Why Work Injuries Occur in Oil Fields

80 or 90-hour work weeks are not uncommon in the oil industry, nor are 20 or 30-hour shifts. The extreme hours, coupled with the strenuous nature of the job, pose a serious risk for fatigue-related accidents. Beyond fatigue, what are some common reasons why this profession is so dangerous?

  • Heights: Workers regularly operate on equipment that is elevated hundreds of feet in the air. If you are lucky enough to survive a fall from a great height, chances are you will suffer some type of serious injury.
  • Transportation: To get from one work site to the next, drivers frequently navigate rural back roads. If a driver has not slept in a while or is carrying a load of passengers through an unfamiliar back road, accidents may occur. Travel distances to and from work are also a concern. It is common practice in the industry for workers to travel long distances to and from the work site. As a result, road accidents are the top cause of worker fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry.
  • Exposure: Workers routinely encounter toxic chemicals such as benzene and silica. Exposure to these and other toxic chemicals can lead to lung disease and cardiovascular problems, among other serious health issues.

Measures That Can Be Taken to Reduce Oil Field Injuries

There are companies who have begun installing driver performance monitors on vehicles to track operator behavior. Accelerating too fast is a form of aggressive driving, while stopping abruptly is often a sign of distracted driving. These harmful behaviors can result from extreme fatigue. Other useful measures in reducing the likelihood of oil field injuries include:

  • Shutting down the operation in inclement weather
  • Routinely testing equipment to ensure no one is utilizing defective machinery
  • Ensuring that risk reduction procedures are in place and that they are being followed

How Murphy Law Firm Can Help

Oil field work injuries can result in serious and permanent injury. Let the expert personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm evaluate your case to see what damages you may be entitled to. To learn more, contact us on our website or call (406) 452-2345 today.

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