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Oil workers face many risks during good times

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

New Jersey residents who work in drilling face a variety of risks while on the job. In 2014, those in the drilling sector had a fatality rate five times higher than all other industries combined. From 2008 to 2017, there were 1,566 deaths in the drilling industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When times are good, companies may face pressure to maximize production, which could lead to less of a focus on worker safety.

Over the past decade, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued more than 10,800 violations to extraction companies. Of those, 64 percent were labeled as serious. Furthermore, during the period from 2008 to October 2018, the agency investigated 552 accidents that led to the death of at least one worker. In those accident cases, violators were assessed an average financial penalty of $16,813. However, fines are often reduced in exchange for swift action to get rid of a potential hazard.

Workers who labor on oil rigs or in support positions could be harmed when a rig explodes. However, they could also face harm from exposure to toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Some workers have claimed that they were told that they were not at risk from the substance despite evidence that there was an exposure risk.

Those who have been hurt at work may be entitled to help paying medical expenses related to their injuries. It may also be possible to receive compensation for a portion of wages lost while out of work. An attorney could help an individual learn more about his or her rights in such a case. If necessary, legal counsel may take steps to appeal a denied application or otherwise make an effort to ensure that an injured worker’s rights are protected.