• By: John Escamilla, Esq.
  • Published: June 11, 2024
Oil pumps in a field, extracting valuable resources from the earth's depths. - Escamilla Law Firm, PLLC

While safety standards and work-related accidents and deaths are down for other industries, Texas’ hard-working oil and gas workers continue to suffer serious accidents and fatalities. In an industry that struggles to keep up with high oil demands, corners are cut, strict safety standards are loosened, and profit is often placed over worker safety.

Our law firm has seen consistent cases filed by injured workers and the surviving families of workers killed on the job year after year. While other industries surge ahead in safety innovations, stricter controls, and better protections for workers, the oil and gas industries remain frustratingly unsafe and unwilling to make serious changes.

What causes these injuries and deaths? And why do injury rates remain so high in this sector?

Common Injury Types:

Workers face a variety of intense and debilitating injuries in Texas oil and gas fields. And many of these injuries prove fatal. Current statistics don’t take into account fatal accidents on the road as workers often commute to remote locations, but the numbers of fatalities were 39 per year on average between 2007-2011.

Even a non-fatal injury on a rig can prove catastrophic and life-changing. Equipment is massive, complex, and heavy. Hours are long, and the demands of the job are intense.

Commonly seen injuries can be caused by electrocution and falls. Many workers describe being caught in or struck by equipment, inhaling dangerous fumes, or being struck by falling materials.

In other cases, a worker is injured by a coworker’s mishandling of machinery. The dangers faced by oil and gas workers are considerable. These injuries can severely impact future earning capacity and damage overall quality of life, too. Yet we keep seeing them, year after year.

Why do these accidents happen? When other industries have managed to pull ahead and reduce fatalities, why do the oil and gas fields remain so consistently unsafe?

The Underlying Causes Of Major Injuries And Deaths:

The oil and gas industries have long pulled in hard-working Texans seeking a better life, better wages, and more opportunities for their children. Earnings can help pay for college, pay off debt, or buy a family home.

Oil pumps silhouetted against a vibrant sunset, symbolizing the energy industry's role in harnessing natural resources. - Escamilla Law Firm, PLLC

One issue that impacts the number of fatal cases is the remoteness of many of these fields. Workers can drive hours to the job site, and this distance means greater distance from hospitals and proper medical care. An injury that could have been survivable may prove fatal when the nearest hospital is over an hour away.

The pressure to pump and drill faster than ever can mean the fields are operating without sufficient staffing. When the emphasis is on profit instead of safety, corners are cut, and workers are rushed. Training may be inadequate, as new hires may be sped through orientation and safety procedures.

And while all of these large corporations give lip service to safety, workplace injuries and fatalities keep piling up for Texans. And workers and their families are left paying the price.

The Escamilla Law Firm : Fighting For Texas Workers

The fees paid out by big oil and big gas are minimal. OSHA penalties are paltry, and to get the damages you and your family truly deserve, seasoned legal help is needed.

The Escamilla Law Firm has been handling construction accidents in McAllen and Austin Texas for over 20 years. John Escamilla has fought for the rights of Texans all the way up to the Supreme Court; he knows that it takes hard work, skill, and determination to get justice for Texas’ hardest-working and most vulnerable workers.

Have you or a family member been injured in an oil or gas field accident? Have you lost a loved one to a fatal injury? The pain and loneliness of such accidents can have effects for years and generations to come. Don’t allow big oil and big gas to rob your family of the damages they deserve.

Contact The Escamilla Law Firm at (956) 628-7569 for the compassionate and dedicated legal help you deserve today. Allow a seasoned and committed workplace accidents attorney to represent you, fight for proper damages, and hold big corporations responsible.

Source: Workplace deaths drop – but not in the oil industry

Image of Attorney John Escamilla, Esq. - Escamilla Law Firm, PLLC

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