Safety Hazards and Injuries Associated with Working in an Oil Field

Safety Hazards and Injuries Associated with Working in an Oil FieldWorking in an oil field in Oklahoma can be one of the most rewarding jobs, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Oil field workers are susceptible to serious injuries that can lead to paralysis, internal organ damage, and even death if an accident happens.

There are dozens of safety hazards associated with working on an oil field, including those involving transportation, struck-by, explosions, falls, poisoning in confined spaces, and many more. A Tulsa oil field injury attorney can investigate the accident that led to your injuries and build a case with the goal of securing you compensation.

Common Oklahoma oil field hazards

The job you perform on an oil field in Oklahoma doesn’t necessarily indicate whether or not you will be involved in an accident or suffer a serious injury. It also doesn’t indicate if you will be able to avoid a serious injury. For these reasons, it is in your best interest to have an understanding of the types of Oklahoma oil field hazards that can leave you injured. These hazards include the following:

  • Struck by/caught-in/caught between
  • Helicopter, bus, truck, forklift, car, or other vehicle accident
  • Falls
  • Fires and explosions
  • Machine accidents
  • Confined space accidents and gas poisoning
  • Electrocution
  • High pressure gas line accidents

While not an exhaustive list, the above accidents are the most common, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Serious injuries caused by common oil field hazards

The work performed on an oil field is dangerous no matter your experience level or precautions in place from you or your employer. Oil field workers can suffer catastrophic injuries ranging from broken bones to burns to internal organ damage to paralysis and death.

Burns from explosions and electrocution

If an explosion occurred at the oil field where you work, you might have suffered 2nd or 3rd degree burns. If so, you might have required multiple surgeries or skin grafting procedures to treat the impacted areas of your body. Recovering from serious burns takes anywhere from months to years and you might not be able to return to work.

Aside from suffering a burn in an explosion or fire, oil field workers can also suffer electrical burns. Electrical burns can lead to damage to your skin, tissues, and internal organs. Some of the most common injuries caused by electrical burns occur in the following areas of the body:

  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Nervous system
  • Bones and muscles

Toxic inhalation from a confined space incident

Confined spaces can be found anywhere, including on oil fields. No one should enter a confined space without the proper protective equipment and without first testing the air for potential hazardous chemicals and gasses. Entries into confined spaces should be documented, scheduled, and monitored at all times by trained employees or the local fire department.

If a confined space incident occurs, it is possible that employees in the confined space suffer toxic inhalation from gas, carbon monoxide, or other harmful chemicals. Exposure can cause a worker to pass out or suffer deadly injuries because they inhaled toxic chemicals.

Internal organ damage

Oil field workers are susceptible to suffering internal organ damage in any type of accident. With the amount of heavy machinery and power tools present on the job, an oil field worker can easily suffer a punctured lung, kidney failure, impalement of the heart, and many other injuries. Objects that fall from heights, such as a pole or tool, can puncture an employee standing on the ground below to the point where surgery needs to be performed to save their life.

Smoke and ash inhalation

Fire departments across the country teach children and families to remain low when exiting a building that is on fire. Doing so helps them avoid the smoke permeating through the building. While this is a good tip to follow, this might not be feasible when working on an oil field. Workers caught in an explosion or fire at an oil field can easily inhale smoke and ash. Depending on the length of exposure, the worker might suffer serious lung and internal organ damage that remains with them for the rest of their life.

Amputation, loss of sight, and loss of hearing

Explosions, truck accidents, falling pipes – any of these can lead to an oil field worker being crshed by materials or debris. Crush injuries can cause so much damage to the bones and muscles that the body part must be amputated for the worker to survive. If a cable snaps, it could wrap around the arm or leg of a worker, severing it instantly or causing enough damage where the limb has to be surgically removed at the hospital.

Oil field workers are also susceptible to suffering sight and hearing loss. Explosions are the most common cause of hearing loss, especially if the worker was close to the point of origin of the blast. Vision loss can occur if shrapnel enters an oil field worker’s eye following an explosion or if the goggles they were wearing were not properly manufactured. Workers can lose more than just their vision. The severity of the accident could cause them to lose their eyes completely.

Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries

An oil field worker who is involved in a fall from heights can suffer spinal cord injuries. The injury could be mild enough to recover via physical therapy before the worker returns to the job or serious enough where they are paralyzed and can no longer work.

Oil field workers who fall from heights are also susceptible to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Falls aren’t the only cause of TBIs on oil fields. Workers who are hit in the head from a falling object, shrapnel from an explosion, or hit by a vehicle and land on their head can suffer TBIs in that fashion.

Were you or a loved one injured in a Tulsa oil field accident? Did you suffer the tragic loss of your spouse in an oil field explosion? If so, it’s imperative that you seek legal representation immediately. The experienced Tulsa oil field injury attorneys at Biby Law Firm understand the significant impact an oil field injury has on you or your loved one’s life. Call our office at 918-574-8458, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today. All of our injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis.