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Many oil workers are killed on Texas roadways

With more and more hydraulic fracking taking place, it may still surprise most people that a large number of deaths for oil workers comes on the road. One insurance underwriter stated: "It's where these guys travel, it's how they travel, it's the loads that they're hauling." He noted that many of the drivers are moving the oil or gas on private property or on unimproved roads, and much of the driving occurs at night. The work sites may be facing greatly increased activity as well.

Auto claims involving energy workers have also gone up with the new production techniques for extracting oil. There is a great demand for drivers in the oil industry and that has resulted in an increased number of accidents. Many drivers may not be qualified to take on the duties they are assigned. Sadly, there has been an influx of fatalities on Texas roads as well.

The problem goes beyond driving 18-wheelers on poorly maintained roads. When truck drivers move the fuel in rural areas they may also be encountering other drivers who are not used to the increased amount of traffic.

Lawsuits have been brought both against contractors and oil companies concerning wrongful death matters. There may also be a number of parties to these lawsuits besides just the employer. This can include looking towards the general liability provisions of insurance policies.

Obviously accidents on the roadways are not the only way oil workers are being injured. As in any industrial workplace, individuals can be injured in a variety of manners. These workers are entitled to compensation for putting their lives at risk while working for someone else.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Top Loss Leaders in the Oil Patch? Commercial Auto, Workers’ Comp," Stephanie K. Jones, June 18, 2014

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