The issues that face oil workers are starting to get noticed. On March 25th, the second-annual Black Gold Bash will be held to raise money for the charity, Oilfield Helping Hands (OHH).
When oil workers fall on hard times, this charity is there to help as much as they can.
How Oilfield Helping Hands Works in Texas
Working at oilfields is dangerous and dirty work. It’s all too easy for oil workers to be injured, disfigured, or killed on the job. OHH raises money through the Black Gold Bash and other fundraisers to help when disasters hit families.
However, OHH is just one charity, and there are a lot of oilfield accidents. While the folks at Oilfield Helping Hands certainly do everything they can, they can’t help everyone. The charity is a stopgap measure, not a permanent solution. A severe oilfield accident might rack up significantly more medical bills than, frankly, any charity could cover.
Common Texas Oilfield Accidents
Getting hurt on the job at an oilfield is a step beyond most other workplace injuries. There are so many kinds of dangerous machinery and chemicals that an accident is unlikely to be minor. In these cases, medical bills quickly get out of control.
Fires and Explosions
It’s all too common to see fires or explosions leading to oilfield accidents. With all the flammable substances, like gas, oil, and processing chemicals, these accidents can easily become deadly. For example, a recent gas explosion left three Texas oilfield workers dead, two despite hospital treatment. The costs of treating severe burns are exorbitant. The cost of these medical bills is just part of the financial compensation a workers’ compensation claim would press for.
When working with heavy machinery or vehicles, having something hit or fall on you is a real risk. When working with equipment as heavy-duty as the machines on the oilfields, this can result in permanent disability or death in the blink of an eye. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may not just receive compensation for medical costs. You may also receive damages for negligence. If negligence was involved in your accident, these damages should be awarded to make up for your suffering.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Many oil rigs are hundreds of feet tall. Working on high structures in all weather makes the risks of and injuries from a fall much worse. 41% of all US fatalities related to oil fields occurred in Texas, and 52% of those were due to falls. If a fall occurs due to negligent maintenance, you can make a claim for damages against the company. You might also have a case for dangerous work conditions depending on the weather and your safety equipment.
Twist and Bend Injuries
Even the manual work required of oilfield employees can be intense. It involves lifting heavy objects regularly, working with harsh chemicals and in taxing conditions, and even minimizes downtime to heal. That’s the perfect recipe for serious, permanent work-related disabilities.
Being an oilfield worker is hard enough. Oilfield accidents make it even harder. Add legal battles to the line-up, and things can quickly seem insurmountable!
That’s why when you’ve been injured on the job, getting a good attorney should be your first step. A good lawyer will help you navigate the world of workers’ compensation and help you get your medical costs covered.
Charitable help is a great stopgap, but when you need something long term, you should make the company that injured you help you recover.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor. Now, he uses that knowledge to anticipate opposing counsel’s arguments and protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.