Workplace Hazards Are Growing for Texas Oil and Gas Workers
The oil and gas industry is booming in Texas, and the resulting increase in employment has led to a spike in serious accidents. The rush to hire workers to meet production demands can lead to a lack of proper training, insufficient safety precautions, and long work hours, increasing the risk of accidents.
Energy Worker Risks
Texas energy workers are at serious risk of injury or death. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas led the nation in oil and gas fatalities between 2011 and 2013. Some of the most common oil and gas industry hazards include:
- Fall risks. Workers are often required to use drilling platforms and masts located hundreds of feet above the ground. When the surfaces of these platforms are wet, muddy, icy, or oily, the risk of slipping and falling is high. These falls can easily be fatal, and survivors will likely sustain serious head and back injuries, as well as broken bones.
- Confined spaces. Energy workers must frequently enter tight spaces, such as storage containers, reserve pits, and petroleum storage tanks. These areas sometimes contain flammable vapors or gases which may ignite, causing a fire or explosion. Chemical exposure can also lead to asphyxiation or chemical burns.
- High pressure lines. Internal erosion of high pressure lines can cause them to leak or burst. Any nearby spark may then set off a flash fire. Should the parts securing these lines fail, an employee may be injured when they blow off the line, striking the worker.
- Equipment hazards. Oil and gas workers are frequently exposed to a variety of hazardous equipment, including conveyors, compressors, pumps, belt wheels, and catheads. Employees may be injured when they are struck by or caught between this machinery.
Obtaining Legal Representation
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident involving oil and gas pipelines, you need professional legal representation. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.