When it comes to workplace safety, the oil and gas extraction industry has a rather dismal track record. During the boom that spanned from 2003 to 2010, the industry had a fatality rate seven times higher than other industries. Though the rate has improved a bit in recent years, there's still much work to be done, as more than 4,000 oil field workers are injured—and more than 100 are killed—in oil field accidents each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While not every oil field accident, injury, or death can be prevented, many can. One surefire way to reduce the number of on-the-job accidents in the oil and gas extraction industry is to ensure that every single worker has the job and safety training they need to carry out their duties without incident. When employers put profit before safety, such as allowing insufficient training or rushing novice workers into dangerous jobs on the oil field, the results can be disastrous.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an oil field accident caused by an inadequately-trained oil field worker, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you should know.
Common Oil Field Accidents
Oil field workers face numerous on-the-job hazards every day. The fast-paced, high-pressure environment demands precision and accuracy from each employee. When a poorly-trained oil field worker makes even a minor mistake, it can result in devastating accidents, such as:
- Slip-and-fall incidents
- Falls from heights
- Scaffolding, deck, or rig collapses
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Serious oil field accidents and injuries can also occur as a result of inclement weather conditions. While workers don't have any control over bad weather events, they can control how they respond to such conditions. Employees who are insufficiently trained can inadvertently make a bad situation even worse.
Types of Oil Field Safety Training
Comprehensive training helps oil workers understand the dangers they face in the workplace and gives them the required knowledge to perform their jobs safely. Effective training programs educate oil field workers on the processes, equipment, and protective gear they'll use on the job.
Common types of oil field safety training include:
- Classroom training: Lectures, videos, and hands-on training in a classroom setting can help newly-hired employees get ready for their jobs.
- Daily safety huddles: Daily on-site safety meetings, even for a few minutes, can highlight specific hazards that workers may face for the tasks ahead, as well as provide instruction on how to mitigate risks.
- Online training: This type of training allows workers to learn at their own pace from their home or anywhere else that has an internet connection.
- New procedure training: After implementing a new work or safety process, oil field employees are often given training to help them understand the changes.
- After-accident training: Following an on-the-job accident or near-miss incident, employers may have oil field workers complete training that examines the cause and discusses preventative efforts.
- Refresher training: Periodic refresher training can help employers reiterate safety practices that have long been in place.
Controlling Exposure to Workplace Hazards
Another way employers can prevent serious oil field accidents and injuries is to control their employees' exposure to workplace hazards. Some ways to do this include eliminating unnecessary hazards; swapping dangerous chemicals and equipment for less hazardous options; taking advantage of proper ventilation and safety guards; providing quality safety gear; and using administrative methods that reduce on-the-job dangers.
Do You Need an Oil Field Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in an oil field accident caused by insufficient training, McGartland Law Firm's award-winning legal team can help you pursue compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule a free initial case review.