There aren’t many jobs as dangerous as oil and gas drilling. Every year, thousands of workers are injured on the job. As oilfields become scarcer, yet demand continues to rise, many oil and gas companies will push their workers with double shifts and overtime. Oil and gas companies will sometimes cut corners with other safety and maintenance requirements, making the job even riskier. An oil or gas explosion will result in serious injuries. Common injuries include severe burns, broken bones, head injuries, and electrocutions. Gas explosions can also expose workers and the surrounding community to toxic, harsh chemicals. In the Houston area, the oil and fracking boom has increased the number of oilfield workers injured on the job. If you work in the oil and gas industry, these are the five critical Houston oilfield accident laws you need to know.
- Employer negligence is the leading cause of oilfield accidents in Texas.
The state of Texas, along with OSHA, require oilfield and gas companies to comply with stringent requirements for the safety of their workers and the environment. A failure to heed these regulations is the leading cause of oil and gas accidents in the Houston area. If you work in the oil and gas industry, here’s how you can comply with regulations and minimize your chances of an accident:
- Always wear the required safety equipment, including eye masks, boots, gloves, and helmets.
- Make sure anti-pressure devices are in good working order to prevent an explosion.
- Wear self-contained respiratory devices to protect yourself against chemical exposure.
- Make sure tools are safely stored and also easily accessible to prevent falling.
- All machinery must be regularly inspected, maintained, and also replaced if it is faulty or out-of-date.
- All workers must be trained and educated on proper maintenance, job, and accident prevention techniques. Inadequate training is a significant risk factor for accidents and explosions.
- Any accidents must be immediately reported to applicable state and federal agencies.
- How is negligence determined in an oil accident in Houston?
If an employer failed to follow OSHA guidelines and you were injured as a result of their negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation under Texas personal injury laws.
If your attorney can establish that your injuries were a direct result of an oil and gas employer’s negligence and failure to comply with OSHA standards, you can receive compensation for the following:
- Expenses related to the accident that you paid out-of-pocket
- Any medical bills
- Lost wages, including future lost wages due to permanent disability or health problems
- Past and future pain and suffering.
- What should someone do after an oilfield accident?
- Stop working and immediately report your injury
- Seek immediate medical attention from a doctor of your choice.
- Don’t give any formal statements, sign any paperwork, or accept money from your company that isn’t your regular paycheck.
- Contact an experienced Houston oilfield accident attorney.
- Does an oil and gas worker who is injured on the job have to use a company doctor?
Oil and gas companies will try to minimize their liability in an accident as much as possible. One of the tactics they may employ is to insist that an injured worker must seek medical attention from a company doctor. This is false. An injured worker is not legally obligated to use a company doctor. It is in an injured worker’s best interest to use a doctor of their choosing.
- Can an oil and gas employer withhold an employee’s paycheck until they sign a statement?
An oilfield and gas employer cannot legally withhold an injured worker’s paycheck. If you’ve been hurt on the job in Houston, it is imperative that you do not sign any statements. An employer also cannot keep your wages from you. After you’ve been injured, stop working immediately and get medical treatment from a doctor of your choice. Contact an experienced oil and gas injury attorney in Houston asap. They’ll be able to get you the compensation you deserve and prevent your employer from hurting your financial situation.