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Closer Look at Dangerous Oilfield Work

According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average occupation in America sees three fatal work injuries each year for every 100,000 full-time workers. For those who are employed by gas and oil companies – corporate giants that should have the means of enforcing strict safety regulations and use only the safest of technologies – the fatality rate is five times higher, with 15 out of every 100,000 workers losing their life in the typical year. What is going on to create such an upsettingly high fatality rate?

Oilfield Accidents That Happen On the Road

Work around an oil refinery is dangerous; there were 27% more deaths in 2014 than 2013, despite apparent advancements in safety standards. There’s plenty of heavy equipment that could go defective without proper maintenance, pipelines that can burst due to over-pressurization, entire oilfields that can burst into flame from a tiny spark, and so on. But according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), a surprisingly high number of fatalities are connected to trucking and transportation accidents.

Truckers employed or contracted by oil companies spend an excessive amount of time behind the wheel each day. Most other commercial truckers are limited to 14 hour shifts; not true of oil truckers. Due to the distance they travel between one site and another, which might only be a couple dozen miles or so, they can be scheduled for shifts that are essentially indefinite. It is not uncommon for a truck driver to haul oil and cargo for 20 hours a day. No matter how the situation is approached, spending that much time driving will fatigue someone, which dramatically increases the chance of a truck accident.

In addition to potentially slipping safety standards, oil companies are feeling pressure from significant drops in oil prices. Less profits means less workers, but the workload doesn’t decrease with the price. Americans guzzle more gas than ever, despite improvements to eco-technology and alternative fuels; to keep up with the demand while saving their profits, gas and oil giants may expect workers to put in more hours, further increasing the chance of an on-the-job accident or collision.

Out here in Midland-Odessa, the problem of negligent or exhausted oil truck drivers is a real, everyday concern. Along the 20 freeway that cuts through the area east-to-west, huge oil tankers and other industrial vehicles are a common sight, and so are the crashes they cause. If you are hurt by a truck driver in Texas, let Dean Law Firm and our Midland-Odessa truck accident lawyer know by calling 432.214.8125. We can start your case with a free consultation, during which we can hopefully figure out just how much your claim is worth.