The oil and gas industries are vital for America’s economy and their workers are on the frontlines of those industries. They help produce the fuel that helps to drive the economy; without them, it is very likely that the country could grind to a standstill. However, this kind of work is among the most dangerous there is because the people involved are working with volatile, toxic materials. That is why the workers in the oil industry deserve as much protection as possible; they are in a high-risk profession where the consequences of any accidents are far more devastating than they are in other industries.
That is why the Law Firm of Ralph B. Wegis is dedicated to representing oilfield workers who have been injured in accidents on the job. Ralph B. Wegis is an oilfield accident lawyer who is highly familiar with the types of accidents that can happen on the oilfield. He knows that many of those accidents are due to negligence and has helped many oilfield workers get the justice that they deserve. Ralph B. Wegis has over forty years of experience helping people who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others and he is ready and willing to use that experience to help you.
The Different Types of Oilfield Accidents
Working on an oilfield can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. As stated earlier, the highly volatile and toxic materials can be very harmful. Normally there are extensive safety protocols put in place to prevent accidents from happening. But, unfortunately, accidents do sometimes happen, and because of the nature of the materials being used, the effects of those accidents can be devastating. Some examples of the types of accidents that can happen on an oilfield include the following:
Burns – The oil and many of the other chemicals found on an oil field or an oil rig are highly flammable and can be ignited with a simple spark or from a pressure build-up. If anyone is in the vicinity when this occurs, then they could get serious burns and scarring. In some cases, it is possible for someone to get burned simply by coming into contact with a particularly volatile chemical.
Falls – Oil rig and oil field workers often have to scale great heights in order to do their jobs, which means that falls are often a risk. A fall from any height can cause serious injuries to the head, neck, and limbs. That could lead to relatively minor problems like concussions, to more serious problems like skull fractures. Broken bones and injuries to the spine are also potentially serious problems. Slip and fall injuries are also a possibility because there are many substances that could create a slick surface when spilled.
Impact Injuries – The machinery used in oil fields and oil rigs is often very heavy and complex. If one falls on a person, or if someone gets caught in one, then that could cause severe internal and external injuries.
Chemical Exposure – The chemicals used in oil fields and oil rigs can be dangerous to the touch but they can also be dangerous if they are inhaled. They can cause respiratory problems, certain types of cancer, and even brain damage if they are inhaled over a prolonged period.
Transportation Injuries – These can happen when workers are being transported to or from the oil field.
The Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents
As long as an oil field is safely maintained and competently managed, the risk of an accident is fairly low. But accidents happen nonetheless, and in a place like an oil rig or an oil field where there are lots of volatile chemicals and heavy machinery, the results of an accident can be devastating. Some of the things that can cause an accident include the following:
- Poorly Trained Workers
- Improper Chemical Storage
- Pressure Build-up in Wells
- Gas Leaks
- Slippery Surfaces
- Falling Objects
- Poorly Maintained Equipment
These problems are more likely on a poorly run oil rig, but many of them can crop up on even a well-run rig.
The Oil and Gas Industry is Among the Most Dangerous in America
From 2008 to 2017, a total of 1,566 workers died from injuries sustained while working in the oil and gas industry. That is an incredibly high number and a lot of them were due to workplace violations. In that period the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) handed out nearly 11,000 citations to companies in the oil and gas industry for violating the safety rules and regulations.
64% of those violations were classified as serious, meaning that they were likely to result in death or serious physical harm. 3% of the violations were cited as being repeated or willful. Repeated violations mean that the company had been cited for violations many times before, while willful violations mean that the company showed a deliberate disregard for the law or that they were indifferent to the safety of their workers. These kinds of violations would be bad in any industry but they are especially dangerous in the oil and gas industry where workers’ lives and safety are on the line. That is why it is very important to retain an experienced oilfield accident attorney if you or a loved one was seriously injured in an oilfield accident.
What To Do After An Oilfield Accident or Explosion
An accident or explosion can be a jarring and traumatic event so it is perfectly understandable if you are dazed and shaken up afterward. However, once you regain your composure, there are some steps that you need to take to ensure your safety and increase the chances of a successful personal injury claim.
- Notify your supervisor about the accident – If you do not inform your supervisor about the accident as soon as possible, then you could get fired and you could be ineligible for compensation later on. When you tell your supervisor about the accident, be as detailed and thorough as possible. Even if you only suffered minor injuries, be sure to let them know because those minor injuries could eventually become worse.
- Seek medical attention – As detailed previously, the injuries sustained on an oil field or oil rig can be very serious. That is why it is important that you get medical attention for even the most minor of injuries. That is also why it is important that you keep records of those injuries as they could be very important when filing a personal injury claim.
- Hire an experienced oilfield accident attorney – Make sure to do this before signing any paperwork, making any statements, or accepting any settlement offers from your employer. Your lawyer will help you to evaluate what your settlement claim is really worth so that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Contact the Law Firm of Ralph B. Wegis If You Have Been Injured in An Oilfield Accident
The sheer number of possible accidents that can happen on an oilfield, and the devastating consequences of those accidents, means that workers need to be more than adequately compensated should any such accident happen to them. The Law Firm of Ralph B. Wegis is dedicated to representing oilfield and oil rig workers— and their loved ones— when they get injured on the job.
Ralph B. Wegis will fight to make sure that the injured oil field and oil rig workers get the compensation that they need to take care of their medical expenses and that they are covered for any wages they miss because they are unable to work. Compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other unquantifiable problems caused by the accident will also be included in the settlement. If the company was at fault for the accident in a particularly egregious way, then punitive charges will be added to the settlement as well.
You will be facing a huge corporation with millions of dollars and a team of expensive, high-powered attorneys on their side.
Oilfield attorney Ralph B. Wegis will even the odds and give you a fighting chance of a favorable outcome. So do not hesitate to get in touch with him if you have been in an oilfield accident; he will fight for your rights and stand up to the oil company responsible for your injury.
Call Us Today to Receive Your Free Initial Consultation! (661) 635-2100