Louisiana ranks third in the nation in natural gas production and proved reserves. Thanks to our location straddling the Mississippi River Delta, our state benefits from an abundance of both onshore and offshore crude oil and natural gas reserves. Thousands of individuals arrive here every year to find employment in the lucrative industry that supports roughly one out of every nine jobs in Louisiana.
But the oil and gas industry is a fast-paced, high-hazard field that doesn’t always prioritize its workers. Those employed in the oil industry often find themselves thrown into dangerous work with little training and even less hands-on supervision. Worse yet, many oil field accidents result because proper security protocol is not followed—and workers are not given the resources, tools, and training to prevent and safely handle emergency situations.
If you suffered an injury as a result of an oil field accident, partner with an attorney who believes in you. Bianca | Matkins is a people’s law firm. We give a voice to the hardworking individuals of Louisiana who have been pushed aside by big-business corporations interested only in profits.
Were you injured on a Louisiana oil patch or oil rig? Call today to learn how you can recover compensation. A no-obligation case evaluation is free for injured workers.
Common Oil Field Accident Injuries
What injuries commonly result after an oil field accident? Below are some of the common oil field accident injuries workers in Louisiana may suffer on the job:
- Broken bones
- Head, neck, and back trauma
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Burns and chemical burns
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Hand, arm, leg, and foot injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Finger, hand, or arm amputation
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Lung damage due to chemical inhalation
When accidents do happen in the gas and oil industry, the results tend to be serious. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the majority of fatal oil field accidents fall into one of the following types:
- Vehicle accident
- Struck-by, caught-in, or caught-between machinery or equipment
- Explosion or fire
- Confined space incident
- Chemical exposure
Common Types of Oil Field Accidents
Oil field accidents leading to serious injuries or fatalities happen with a regrettable frequency. Construction and extraction jobs saw the most occupational deaths in 2021—a combined 951 deaths in a single year alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Workers who labor on oil fields and oil rigs in Louisiana risk on-the-job hazards like these on a daily basis:
- Well blowouts
- Equipment failures
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Defects leading to machine failure
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Offshore oil rig drowning
- Dangerous confinement in enclosed spaces
- Struck-by, caught-in, and caught-between accidents
- Heat stroke and dehydration
The many different types of materials, chemicals, equipment, machinery, and working conditions found on an oil field make it an environment conducive to serious accidents. As such, site managers and supervisors have an obligation to follow safety standards that give precedence to the well-being of workers.
OSHA safety standards for the oil and gas industry work to protect laborers on an oil patch against all manner of hazards. These federally-mandated safety regulations cover everything from motor vehicle safety protocol to crane, derrick, and hoist safety to machine guarding to protective wear to flammable liquid handling, and much more in between. If the entity responsible for oil field management is found to be in violation of any of these regulations, it may face serious penalties if a worker is injured on the job.
Living With an Injury Resulting From an Oil Field Accident
Let’s look in more detail at how the injuries that commonly result after an oil field accident can impact the lives of survivors and their family members. These are just a few examples of the way a person’s life may be forever changed by a work-related accident in the oil and gas industry.
Explosions, Fires, and Chemical Spills
Explosions, fires, and chemical spills are extremely dangerous scenarios on an oil patch. A worker may suffer disfigurement resulting in permanent scarring and tissue damage. Burns can be caused by exposure to certain chemicals, electric shock, or by touching a hot object. The injuries sustained in these accidents require a lengthy healing period and are highly vulnerable to infection.
Falls from heights lead to two of the most acute types of oil field accident injuries: spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Both of these injuries can be categorized as catastrophic, meaning that the victim’s life is permanently altered in a debilitating way. Victims of falls may need lifelong support and medical assistance and may never be able to hold gainful employment again.
Disfigurement and Disablement
Due to the nature of the job, oil field workers are at risk of losing a vital physical skill or body part. Oil field injuries can cause a person to lose their vision, hearing, fingers, hands, arms, feet, or legs. They may also be left with permanent facial disfigurement that requires aggressive reconstructive surgery. The treatment for these injuries can reach into the millions, and the life-altering impact of such an injury is immeasurable.
Legal Support for Victims of Oil Field Accidents in Louisiana
When you are injured simply because you are doing your job, there is no reason you should be forced to pay for the resulting medical expenses yourself. If you suffer an injury in an oil field accident, you may be able to recover benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, you may have legal standing to hold a third-party entity liable through a personal injury claim.
At Bianca | Matkins, we help you explore all your legal options so you can recover maximum compensation.
We know that oil companies are for-profit businesses that don’t always do the right thing. We also know that you deserve better. Don’t let the oil company’s legal team cheat you out of a fair settlement. Come talk to us. We offer free consultations to clients in Baton Rouge and beyond. ASL services are available upon request.
Contact us online or by phone to set up your first conversation with your legal advocates at Bianca | Matkins.