Increased consumer demand is forcing oilfields to produce much higher yields. All too often, the top priority is not safety; it is ensuring the plant meets these quotas.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of these jobs, injuries are common on oilfields – and so is death. In fact, fatalities in the oil and extraction industry have risen more than 100 percent since 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Inadequate safeguards, exhaustion, lack of training and rushing to meet yield quotas are responsible for increasing death rates. Employees face fires, explosions, electrocution, vehicle accidents, equipment malfunctions, collapsing rigs, falling objects and other dangers. Many injuries are catastrophic, causing physical disfigurement or preventing the victim from returning to work.
If you were injured in an oilfield accident, then call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710. An Albuquerque personal-injury lawyer from our firm can evaluate your case to determine if you may be eligible for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. In the meantime, here are seven of the most common injuries that occur on oilfields:
Oilfield equipment can reach extreme temperatures. Steam, fires, pipelines and electrical hazards can cause third-degree burns with ease. If left untreated, even the mildest burns can develop infection. Hospitalization is crucial for extensive burns, which often result in loss of mobility and disfigurement.
- Brain and Spine Injuries
Injuries to the brain or spine are horrific. They cause major debilitation and possibly paralysis.
Hardhats offer little protection against shockwaves, collapsing rigs or explosions. Even minor brain or spine injuries can interfere with physical abilities.
Many rig workers walk about with disfigured hands and amputated fingers. Protective gloves catch on machines, pulling hands into equipment that can easily mangle and crush. Other accidents, such as malfunctioning hardware, cause workers to lose legs and arms. Often, victims can never work again.
- Broken Limbs
Broken bones are some of the most common oilfield injures. Explosions, falls, defective equipment and vehicle accidents can easily break bones in any part of the body.
- Shoulder, Neck and Back Injuries
Serious injuries, such as those to the neck, back or shoulders, usually occur when people value production more than safety. While common in all dangerous jobs, these types of injuries saturate the extraction industry.
- Hearing Loss
Oilfields are loud; in fact, machinery and drilling equipment can cause deafness. Without protection, workers may suffer permanent hearing loss. With protection, these effects are usually temporary, but hearing loss may still occur over time. Earmuffs do little to protect eardrums against burst pipes and explosions.
- Eye Injuries
On an oilfield, eye protection should be compulsory. Wind gusts, explosions and burst pipes can blow dangerous debris into the eyes and face, which scratch the cornea and can cause irreversible damage if not treated promptly. Scratched corneas can contribute to eye infections that may result in vision loss.
Oilfield accident victims may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. However, bringing a successful claim often involves complicated paperwork, settlement negotiations and even trial litigation.
A personal-injury attorney can help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-764-9710 to find out if filing a lawsuit would be in your best interests.