America's sharp economic downturn and slower recovery fueled the migration
of American workers to areas where the work is plentiful and the salaries
are high. One of these areas is the Bakken oil field.
If you have worked at Bakken, you may have seen an ugly side to Montana's
proverbial "golden egg". OSHA investigators expressed concern that
speed bonuses contribute to compromising oil field workplace safety across the Bakken.
The Bakken oil boom has been a serial killer. Big oil companies have largely
written the rules governing their own accountability for accidents, potentially
putting workers at risk.
-Politico.com June 2015
As a result of these practices, you or someone you know may have been hurt.
If so, what should you know about
First, know that you are not alone. The Montana Department of Labor and
Industry has excellent online resources to help you understand your rights.
Next, be sure to follow an important first step. According to the Montana
State Worker's Compensation Benefits Summary, you
must "report all on-the-job injuries to your supervisor, insurer, or employer,
as soon as possible. You must give notice within 30 days after the occurrence
of the accident. The notice must include the time and place where the
accident occurred and the nature of the injury."
A necessary follow-up is to "submit a signed First Report of Injury
(FROI) within 12 months from the date of the accident. You can submit
this form to your employer, the workers’ compensation insurer, or
the Department of Labor and Industry, Employment Relations Division".
You can download your copy of the FROI from the Department of Labor and
Industry’s Employment Relations Division
website, or request one from your insurer or employer.
For more information on your work comp rights and responsibilities, download
your Montana Department of Labor and Industry
Workers' Compensation Benefits Summary booklet.
Understandably, even these initial steps can seem daunting. If you need
reliable help for your Bakken oil field work comp case, simply