Working in the Bakken Oil Field

They say that the opportunities are great but working in the Bakken is "not for the faint of heart."

"Why hasn't everyone moved there you ask? Is it too good to be true? Well, most people don't want to believe it's true or they just don't want to relocate to North Dakota. Make no mistake, it is not a gravy train. It is hard work in the cold and in the hot weather. Long hours, and thankless tasks. The benefits are outstanding pay, and flexible work schedules such as two weeks on and two weeks off."

To qualify for work in the oil patch you generally need only a GED and successful passing of a drug test. When you apply through service companies, they handle everything. Wages are substantial. Even fast food places are said to be paying upwards of $15 an hour. There are thousands of jobs to apply for among at least 37 service companies contracted in the Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana area.

The oil and gas boom is also bringing a flood of health service personnel to the Bakken field area to handle the increasing need for medical response to injuries, life altering accidents, those needing hospital care and minor accidents covered by workers compensation. Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials are saying that there have been two oil field fatalities a week and they are "on pace to set a record."

Traffic accidents are an unwanted consequence of the Bakken oil boom. Treacherous roads filled with a dizzying mass of vehicles, many of them large industrial trucks driven under work pressures compete with cars for space. The North Dakota Department of Transportation found at least one service road crash a day, and one speed-related crash every four hours. One North Dakota trucker described the situation saying,

"It's go, go, go, and they ignore the rules." He echos what many workers have said about the culture of flouting safety amid the oil boom.

If you work in the Bakken oil patch, you may very well need legal services to protect your interests. Odegaard BraukmannLaw is a personal injury and worker's compensation firm in the Bakken area. Keep our name handy and contact us for more information.

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