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Report underscores high risk of explosions in oil and gas industry

We've often discussed the high risk of injury associated with work in the oil and gas industry. Companies are required to ensure that rigs and well sites are reasonably safe for workers, but unfortunately one doesn't have to look far to find workers and their families coping with the aftermath of preventable accidents on rigs and platforms.

A recent report shows that 16 workers died because of explosions and fires in the U.S. oil and gas industry in 2014. Despite the fact that workers in gas production make up less than 1 percent of all U.S. workers, more than 10 percent of work-related deaths due to explosions and fires in the last five years occurred in gas and oil production.

Clearly, this line of employment can be extremely hazardous, but workers nonetheless have a right to a reasonably safe work environment. Ensuring the safety of workers, whether they are employees or contractors, requires proper training, equipment maintenance and provision of safety gear. Employers should also make certain that workers know they won't be retaliated against if they report an injury or unsafe work condition.

The kinds of devastating accidents that can happen in the oil and gas industry are many and various:

  • Falling injuries
  • Serious burns
  • Crane accidents
  • Gas exposure
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Equipment accidents
  • Injuries from falling objects
  • Electrocution

A recent report in EnergyWire has more on accidents in the drilling industry in recent years.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pipeline, oil rig or refinery explosion, then an attorney with experience in handling these cases can explain your legal options for receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma and other costs resulting from the accident.

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