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Oilfield Boom Leads to Increased Accidents in Texas

Although the oil boom has been great news for local economies here in Texas, residents and workers alike are now paying the price for that prosperity. With the recent surge in oilfield activity has come a much higher rate of fatality and injury for oilfield workers. On top of that, the 5 biggest oil-producing regions in our state have seen a significant increase in traffic fatalities, too.

Aside from the inherent dangers of the oilfield, what has caused the recent surge in accidents – and more importantly, how can injury victims seek fair compensation from the oil companies? At Dean Law Firm, we represent both workers and residents in oilfield accident claims, and we can also investigate your car accident case to determine if the

What’s Behind the Increased Oil Field Accidents?

With more than 2,400 new workers added to the West Texas oilfields this year alone, the oil industry is booming throughout the region. According to some estimates, there are more than 50,000 additional positions when compared to 2010, and most of those are dangerous support positions, such as rotary drill operators and derrick operators. All the new roles are also part of the “upstream” oil and gas industry, or those dedicated to production and extraction.

In spite of this astronomical growth, the legislation on oilfield safety has not changed much at all over the last few decades. When President Barack Obama first asked OSHA to review the rules for the upstream industry in 2013, the response from organizations like the International Association of Drilling Contractors was dismissive and reluctant to change.

6 years later, many of the oil companies are still allowed to avoid crucial safety precautions, often receiving only a single OSHA violation even after multiple workers are killed. The lack of safety regulation at oilfield sites – and throughout this industry – has had serious repercussions, and led to continued high injury rates.

Here are some of the most common causes of injury and fatality on oilfields:

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and gas
  • Heavy falling objects
  • Improperly installed heavy machinery
  • Lack of training for new oilfield workers
  • Falls from scaffolding and platforms
  • Lack of protective gear, especially for the respiratory system

Rising Traffic Fatalities in Texas

The Texas Department of Transportation has also seen troubling trends with the rise of upstream oil. The traffic injury rate in most oil regions raised by an average of 7%, and there were over 1,500 additional traffic fatalities in 2017 as compared to previous years. Although the oilfield industry is only one piece of this equation, officials say that the increased traffic – as well as increased rates of substance and alcohol abuse – have played a clear role in making driving more dangerous for Texans.

Dedicated Legal Support for Your Claim

Whether you need assistance with a car accident claim or pursuing a workers’ compensation claim for oilfield accident injuries, our experienced legal team at Dean Law Firm can stand up on your behalf. With decades of experience helping injured Texans hold the right party accountable, we can get to the bottom of your accident claim. Our motivated injury lawyers will then push your case as far as it will go, ready to give you the determined trial representation that you need.

To schedule a free consultation at our Midland office, call (432) 214-8125 today.