Struck-By, Caught-In, And Caught-Between Accidents Are Common In The Oil And Gas Industry
Workers in the oil and gas industry face numerous hazards throughout the extraction process—a fact reflected in the industry's dismal injury and death rate, which was seven times that of other industries during the oil and gas boom from 2003 to 2010.
The statistics are grim, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Struck-by, caught-in, and caught-between incidents are among the most common serious oil field accidents, accounting for three out of every five on-site fatalities in the oil and gas industry.
Oil field workers fortunate enough to survive a struck-by, caught-in or caught-between accident often face significant physical and financial challenges, including serious injuries, unexpected medical expenses, and lost wages. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, injured oil field workers may be entitled to compensation for injuries and other damages.
As the name suggests, struck-by accidents happen when a worker is hit by a falling, flying, swinging, or rolling object. On an oil field, the object in question varies dramatically, but common examples include:
- Dropped tools
- Falling pipes, lumber, or scaffolding
- Flying nuts and bolts
- Falling suspended loads
- Broken high-pressure lines and hoses
- Spinning chains and tongs—used to create drill pipe connections
Oil field workers can also be struck by cranes, excavators, or other equipment.
Although struck-by oil field accidents are common, many can be prevented with the proper training, protective gear, and safety protocols. These include specialized equipment, guardrail systems, safety barricades below work zones, and daily line and equipment inspections and maintenance.
Caught-In and Caught-Between Accidents
Caught-in and caught-between oil field accidents occur when a large object falls or rolls onto a worker, causing him or her to be pinned or crushed. The terms “caught-in” and “caught-between” may also be used to refer to accidents in which workers are caught in—or pulled into—the moving parts of dangerous machinery or equipment.
Cranes, derricks, hoists, and rotating wellhead equipment are among the types of machinery most commonly associated with gruesome caught-in and caught-between accidents.
Comprehensive safety training helps oil field workers recognize and respond to potential caught-in and caught-between hazards. Company policies that prohibit wearing loose clothing or jewelry while working with machinery and equipment with exposed moving parts can also help oil field workers stay safe.
Injuries Associated With Struck-By, Caught-In and Caught-Between Accidents
Struck-by, caught-in, and caught-between accidents cause a wide variety of injuries that range from minor to fatal in severity. The most common injuries associated with struck-by, caught-in and caught-between oil field accidents include:
- Mild abrasions
- Severe lacerations
- Broken or crushed bones
- Internal bleeding
- Head traumas, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
Compensation Available for Injured Oil Field Workers
Oil field workers injured due to the negligence of an employer or third-party may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Consult an Experienced Oil Field Accident Attorney
Being injured in a struck-by, caught-in, or caught-between accident can turn an oil field worker's life upside down. Consulting a reputable oil industry accident attorney can help injured workers ensure their rights are protected after a serious occupational incident.
If you were injured in an oil field accident, the award-winning legal team with McGartland Law Firm will help you understand your rights so you can pursue much needed and deserved compensation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case analysis.