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Oilfield Injuries – What Are Considered Accidents in Oil and Gas Industry Settings?
oilfield injuries accidents

The oil and gas industry is a billion-dollar business in Texas, providing significant tax revenue and many jobs for Texas residents. It is also a dangerous business – working in oil and gas extraction is frequently noted as one of the nation’s most hazardous occupations.

The upstream oil and gas industry is particularly dangerous, accounting for one of the highest rates of severe injuries out of all U.S. workplaces. In fact, in 2016 it is estimated that each month about 20 oil and gas industry workers were hospitalized or lost a body part due to a workplace injury.

Although oil companies and industry regulators continuously strive to make the oil and gas extraction workplace safe, oilfield accidents persist. If you are the victim of an oilfield injury, contact an experienced oilfield injury lawyer to find out what types of benefits you may be entitled to.

What makes working on oilfields inherently dangerous?

Given the multitude of hazards present on oil rigs, it is not surprising that the industry has such a high accident rate. Some of the factors that contribute to the inherent risk of oil and gas extraction include:

Fall risks

Often, oilfield workers need to work at great heights, atop platforms, derrick boards, and outboard walkways, all while performing fast-paced physical labor. This combination creates a significant risk of falls, many of which result in serious oilfield injuries and sometimes death.

Heavy machinery

Oil extraction requires the use of many pieces of heavy equipment such as rigs, pumps, masts, cranes, and forklifts. All of these items must be set up and operated carefully by trained professionals or they can become dangerous weapons. Furthermore, heavy machinery can easily maim or kill a worker if it falls from an elevated position.

Flammable materials

Not only is combustible oil in abundance on the site of an oil rig, but other substances used in the drilling process, like hydrogen sulfide, are highly flammable as well. Therefore, oil industry accidents like explosions and fires are a real risk on the oilfield job site that may cause severe injuries.

High-pressure work

The oil and gas industry is lucrative but also highly time-sensitive. As such, workers are expected to keep an extremely fast pace. In this type of circumstance, mistakes can be made, even by skilled and highly trained professionals.


Employees in the oil and gas industry often work long hours, and their jobs are physically demanding. The result of extended workdays performing manual labor, in some cases, is human error. Given all of the hazards listed above, any misstep can lead to an oilfield disaster.

Added dangers of offshore rigs

Offshore oil rigs involve all the same risks as their land-based counterparts, but at a remote distance to the mainland. This means medical attention is not close by in the event of accidents in oil and gas industry settings. Furthermore, any type of disaster mitigation will be delayed in arriving at the job site.

Compensation for oil rig injuries

If an oilfield worker is injured on the job site, they are eligible to receive compensation based on their injuries if the accident was a result of another party’s negligence. Typically, if you were injured on an oil rig located on land and the negligent party is your employer, you are only able to obtain benefits under the Texas workers’ compensation system.

However, oil rigs are a collaborative work environment, often involving multiple different companies and contractors working together on the job site. If any third party contributes to the cause of an accident, they may be liable to the victim for damages, including the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and payment for physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Why you need an oilfield injury lawyer

If you have been injured on an oil and gas extraction job site, you need a lawyer with specific experience in the industry to maximize your recovery. This is due to the particular laws and regulations applicable to oil and gas extraction, as well as the complex science and technology involved in the oil business.

Oilfield injury lawyer Richard Schechter has represented hundreds of injured oilfield workers and is knowledgeable about the nuanced OSHA regulations that apply to oil rigs, the specific state and federal laws that govern the practice of oil drilling, and the safety standards prevailing in the industry.

Furthermore, Houston personal injury attorney, Richard Schechter, has decades of experience investigating and litigating oilfield injury cases, and he regularly utilizes experts in safety, petroleum engineering, and accident reconstruction to effectively hold the responsible parties accountable.

Contact a trusted oilfield injury attorney today

For more than 35 years, oilfield workers have trusted the Law Office of Richard Schechter to represent their interests in their most trying times, following accidents on the job site. If you have suffered an injury due to an oilfield accident, please contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Richard Schechter
Richard Schechter

A Passion for Justice