Offshore Injuries on the Oilfields
The oilfield industry is rated among some of the most dangerous occupations in the world as injuries and death are ever present for the workers. Due to the high usage of heavy machinery, the possibility of an impalement or death is not unheard of. On these sites injuries and death can be caused by a number of causes such as being struck by equipment, motor vehicle accidents, catwalks, crushed by falling objects, explosions or getting their bodies caught in metal cables and chains.
Numbers gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics between the years of 2002 and 2007, there were an estimated 598 oilfield workers who lost their life on the job in an accident. What is even more shocking is the fact that every year during that same bracket of time every year the number of deaths was continually increasing at a rate of 70% per year. Unfortunately, the number increases by another 120 deaths when including the fatalities for those in the oil and gas extraction industry in just the year of 2008; though the statistics do not include any fatalities from the production industry for oil and gas, as it is classified in a different group by the federal government. Another 20,000 not fatal injuries were reported during from 2003 to 2007 as well.
Due to the state of Texas being the country's largest provider for natural gas and crude oil, they experience the brunt of the fatalities and injuries caused in this industry. When looking at the number of deaths from 2004 to 2008, those in Texas accounted for 21% of all fatalities in the entire oilfield industry in the states. What then, is causing this drastic increase in injuries and fatalities in the oil and gas industry? Here are a few reasons:
- There is a dramatic increase in the drilling being done throughout the country
- More inexperienced workers
- There is non-compliance with the safety regulations on the work sites
- Significantly high numbers of alcohol and drug abuse on site
According to statistics, the oil and gas industry has significantly expanded over the past decade, therefore causing a larger need for workers on the sites. In 2002, there were an estimated 290,000 jobs available in the U.S. and in 2007 that number nearly doubled. With more and more jobs available in the industry today, the more workers lives are being placed at risk on a daily basis. Another cause of injury and death on the job has to do with the fact that there are far too many inexperienced workers being sent onto the field for work. Due to the ridiculously high increase for the price of oil over the past 2 decades, employers are cutting back on what type of people they hire in order to save money. They hire less experienced workers who they can pay less on the job, many of whom are even lacking the bare minimum experience requirements for an entry level position. What the companies are not realizing is that by hiring inexperienced workers, they are placing their people and company at risk.
Many of the companies in his business also choose to not comply with the necessary safety regulations and federal standards that are given for those in this industry. Non-compliance is a common theme in the industry, and many companies throughout the year are actually spending millions of dollars in order to lobby the government seeking them to have the standards lowered for their workplace. These standards include a decrease in safety requirements (and their significant reduction or elimination), higher production demands, etc. The way that many of these companies are run is an environment that essentially encourages rule breaking in order to get the job done as quickly and cost efficient as possible.
Due to the lonely environment that many of these workers are forced to live in, substance abuse and alcoholism is ramped. Many of these workers are required to work 12 hour shifts for up to 14 consistent days and in order to survive the high stress of the job, many will turn to powerful drugs in order to sustain them through their day. Because of the dangers of those who are under the influence, many workers will be injured or killed as a result of these peoples negligence on the job.
In the event that you or someone you know has been a victim of wrongful injury while working in the oil and gas industry, or a loved one lost their life in a wrongful death accident, you may have the opportunity to seek reimbursement for your suffering. Contact Arnold & Itkin today for the offshore injury attorney that you deserve to have on your side. we will seek to represent your rights as a person and as an employee and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.