Much has occurred in the Permian Basin since the first commercial oil well was drilled 100 years ago this year—in 1921 in Mitchell County. Across a century of booms and busts, ultimately pushing the U.S. to the top spot in global oil production in 2019, Texans have poured time, resources, technological innovation, and a whole lot of sweat into the Permian Basin oil industry. Cities like Midland and Odessa would not exist if not for the proliferation of culture and community which has shot up around the oil fields of the Permian Basin.
And those who serve on the oil fields know that the real gears of the industry grind at the local level. Thousands risk their lives every day on the oil rigs while corporate executives far-removed from the grueling conditions of the field rake profits. Despite the federal and Texas state mandates demanding that corporations provide employees with a safe and secure workplace, a horrific number of preventable accidents happen every year. If you have been injured in an oil field accident, don’t wait to reach out to an oil field accident lawyer who can help defend your rights.
The Dangers of Oil Field Work
The oil field industry requires workers to conduct intense manual labor under dangerous, often unpredictable conditions. A single misstep or act of carelessness can result in the loss of lives. Numbers don’t do justice to the actual threats that oil field employees face on a daily basis, but the statistics below can help provide a big-picture view of the hazards inherent in this occupation.
- Between 2007 and 2012, a high-demand oil boom period, 663 oil and gas workers were killed at work.
- Extraction work continually ranks in the top ten most dangerous occupations, including on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s report published in 2020.
- In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) findings reporting 69 deaths in the oil and gas industry, 44 occurring in the state of Texas.
- During the decreased work hours of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, 25 deaths in 22 separate incidents occurred, according to International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) reports. The same investigation found that largest proportion of deaths was attributed to caught in, under, or between incidents.
- Transportation incidents, contact with objects and equipment, and fires and explosions account for the majority of oil field injuries and deaths.
- Off-field injuries and fatalities often occur during transportation, especially on Route 285.
What Causes Oil Field Injuries?
If you’ve been injured on the job in an oil field, whether you’re located in southwest Texas or New Mexico, you need an attorney who has experience handling cases of injury-causing negligence. When a company is negligent, employees are not given the standard of care they deserve and require to be safe at work. Companies may be tempted to ignore guidelines in an effort to save time and money. But these dangerous corner-cutting practices are the ones which usually lead to an employee injury or fatality. Most oil field injuries result from one of the following causes:
- Mechanical failure
- Lack of proper equipment inspection and maintenance
- Inexperienced or untrained workers
- Lack of safety protocol, training, or escape routes
- Poor supervision and management
- Unsafe operation of vehicles
- Reckless driving
- Low-quality tools and equipment
- Any other form of negligence resulting in injury or death
Midland mayor Patrick Payton has stated that the percentage of jobs in Midland related to the oil and gas industry is 100%. The city’s residents know that if you’re not in the oil business, you actually are. The oil industry is the lifeblood of the region, and citizens of Midland and Odessa recognize the respect and protection those who work on the oil fields deserve.
Our attorneys at Buckingham & Vega Law Firm have a long history of fighting for the rights of people who work on oil fields. We know that most oil companies are powerful, extremely wealthy, and backed by expert legal teams. We are on the side of Permian Basin oil field workers, and we work hard to make sure that the liable company is held responsible for every incident of harm. When you are the victim of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should never be forced to bear the financial burden. Contact our office if you are in need of a legal advocate following an oil field accident.