Construction Injuries in the Oil Patch

Companies operating in the Bakken oil field have employed tens of thousands of raw roughneck workers for operations in the Sidney, Montana and Williston, North Dakota areas. Crews work in the fracking and drilling operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, exposing them to construction injury, dangerous chemicals, fumes, mechanical failure and conventional trucking accidents all the time. Even walking along catwalks and exposed ladders can be dangerous. Increased shipment of crude oil by rail through the region has been the cause of many significant injuries due to explosions and spills. The US Department of Labor Oil and Gas Industry Fatal and Nonfatal Occupational Industries Fact Sheet reports fatal accidents averaging one every 3 days.

In January, 2015, The Bismark Tribune reported the burning death of an oil service company owner and severe burn wounding of an employee who were repairing a tube on a well heater. Another article cites the death from head injuries of a worker who slipped and fell from an icy drilling rig. National Public Radio reports that the fatality rate among oil and gas workers in the Bakken area is nearly eight times higher than the all-industry rate. The high mortality rate may reflect the inexperience of the workforce as well as physical exhaustion of workers in the dangerous environment. Most new workers do not have extensive training and experience.

Ryan Hill of the Oil and Gas Extraction Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is quoted as saying,

[The workers] didn't grow up around the industry, especially in some of the newer oil fields. Workers in this industry typically work 12 to 14 hour shifts for a week or two consecutively. The type of work that workers do often requires performing repetitive and physical labor.

If you are employed in the oil patch and have suffered losses due to injury at work Odegaard Braukmann Law will help youobtain the compensation you need and deserve. Please contact us.

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