Getting Justice for Oilfield Injuries: Some of the Cold, Hard Truth
If money makes the world go round, then oil is the fuel that keeps it turning. Luckily, the country is producing more oil than ever, with domestic production jumping to a three-decade high in 2010.
And when it comes to local oil production, it’s hard not to mention Oklahoma, one of the leading oil-producing states in the country. Its production ranks fifth in the nation and one in seven jobs is directly or indirectly associated with the energy industry, according to the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.
Unfortunately, this boom in oil and energy exacts a human toll, as an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma might note. After all, an oil field is not your ordinary 9-to-5 workplace–drilling and refining this substance is a dangerous job. A lot of things can go wrong.
Among the common oilfield injuries an Oklahoma worker might face include explosions of oil tanks, slip-and-fall accidents, exposure to harmful chemicals, injuries borne from faulty tools and being crushed by machinery, to name a few.
Oklahoma oilfield injuries reach all-time high
In fact, instances of injuries in Oklahoma oilfields have never been higher. According to NPR.org, at least nine men have died on oilfields since 2011, as per data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Unfortunately, oil companies have been less than diligent when it comes to reporting injuries on worksites. According to an article from The Houston Chronicle, since 2007, OSHA has cited at least 110 well service, drilling, and petroleum companies for this very reason. This prompted the agency to update its reporting requirements for such companies by mandating them to report even nonfatal accidents, such as amputations or employee hospitalizations.
Fighting a giant requires an expert
Of course, an injured employee can sue for financial compensation, but winning a case isn’t easy. For one, battling a huge oil company is the modern-day version of the battle between David and Goliath–the foe is a huge corporation with the wealth to hire the best lawyers in the country.
Furthermore, fellow employees may also be hesitant to report injuries–or even assist injured colleagues–because doing so may mean the waiver of their so-called “safety bonus.” This bonus is awarded for working a particular length of time without experiencing a safety incident.
If you find yourself suffering from an oilfield injury and unsure how to proceed, consult with a trusted personal injury lawyer whose keen understanding of the law will improve your chances of suing and winning the required compensation.
Many oilfield injuries go unreported, houstonchronicle.com
Common Oilfield Injuries and How to Protect Yourself, blog.rconstructionco.com
U.S. Oil Reserves Jumped in 2010, wsj.com