The oil and gas industry is booming in Pennsylvania. New technology, including hydraulic fracturing, has created thousands of jobs; more than 31,000 Pennsylvanians work in the oil and gas industry. This includes drillers, roustabouts, truck drivers, engineers, equipment operators, treators, and construction laborers. Most of these jobs pay well, but with the high paycheck comes high risk.
Oil and gas workers are more likely to suffer serious on-the-job injuries than workers in any other industry. The workplace fatality rate for oil and gas is seven times the national average. Why are these jobs so dangerous?
The oil and gas industry is exempt from many of the laws that protect workers in other fields. For example, most truckers are prohibited from working more than 14 hours at a time. In the oil and gas industry, 20 hour shifts are common.
Oil and gas workers routinely use complicated machinery and heavy equipment. Often, these machines are in poor condition and lack necessary safety features.
Fracking trucks aren’t much better. Between 2009 and 2012, Pennsylvania state police inspected 2,200 trucks used by the oil and gas industry. Forty percent were in such bad condition that they had to be removed from service.
Oil and gas workers are also at high risk for occupational illness. Many of the chemicals used at drilling sites have been linked to cancers and birth defects. And, frac sand is known to cause silicosis, an incurable lung disease.
Employers Don’t Care
We know that big oil companies have plenty of money, but most of the work in Pennsylvania is subcontracted to smaller companies that operate on shoestring budgets. These companies try to cut costs with second-hand equipment. Training and safety precautions are rarely a priority. This puts everyone at the jobsite at risk.
The fracking injury lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law represent oil and gas industry workers who are injured on-the-job. We accept cases related to:
- Dangerous equipment
- Fracking truck accidents
- Slip and falls
- Crush accidents
- Chemical exposure
- Occupational disease
- Inadequate safety
Third-Party Injury Claims for Oil and Gas Workers
Like other injured workers, employees in the oil and gas injury have the right to receive workers’ compensation for medical expenses related to on-the-job injuries. However, in many cases, oil and gas workers can also purse a third-party personal injury claim. These are claims against parties other than an employer who contributed to an accident, such as a subcontractor, an employee of a subcontractor, an equipment supplier, or a reckless driver. An employee may also file a third party claim if his employer doesn’t have enough workers’ compensation insurance to cover his injuries or if he was hired as an independent contractor.
Third-party injury claims are complex. If you have been injured on a drilling site, you may have a case and not know it. Call our office to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys will investigate your accident and determine exactly who is liable for your injuries.
Ostroff Injury Law fights for every client. We have a reputation for winning even the toughest of cases. Contact Ostroff Injury Law at (800) 818-8148 and learn how our Pennsylvania oil and gas injury attorneys can help you.