Bakken Oil Field Accident Attorney – The Hazards of Oil Field Work

By Anders Blewett

Economic booms from oil and gas extraction can be a mixed blessing to many residents of the Bakken Oil Field. With all the new money flowing in from the Bakken oil fields, many can forget how dangerous working on oil and gas extraction sites can be, and Bakken oil field accidents are no different from previous census data. From 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages) were killed on the job. This is seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries. The hazards of oil field  work are well documented and workers at the Bakken oil field should be aware of common hazards and dangers of working with oil rigs, and what they can do for prevention.

Common Causes of Oil Field Injuries in Montana:

  • Explosions or blowouts in tanks / wells.
  • Slips, trips or falls on decks / rigs.
  • Improper training of employees.
  • Collapsing rigs.
  • Car accidents involving oil / gas transport vehicles.
  • Falling objects, debris, or tools.
  • Improper or inadequate guard railings.
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals, toxins, or fumes.
  • Unsecured machinery or equipment.

By being aware of these risks, workers can avoid injuries before they occur by taking a number of safety precautions while on the job.

  • Always put away and secure all tools, materials, and debris after they have been used as leaving these out in the open can risk coworkers tipping, slipping, or falling over them.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear and clothing at all times on job sites. These include safety goggles or eye wear, helmet or hard hat, sturdy boots, long pants and sleeves, and protective gloves.
  • Report any and all accidents and unsafe conditions to your supervisors as soon as possible. This allows employers to address them immediately and prevent any additional injuries in the future.
  • Training is required for operating certain machinery, equipment, or tools. If you or your colleagues are not trained for use on something do not use it. Only use equipment with proper training otherwise you endanger yourself and everyone around you.
  • Make sure you take part in all safety training programs your employer offers and follow all safety procedures and policies established for your workplace. In most cases, these policies were created in response to past oil field injuries and can help keep you and co-workers safe from repeating those same past injuries.

With these precautions in mind, you can help prevent future injuries. Unfortunately, even the most safety conscious worker can still be struck by misfortune. Under Montana law, oil field workers are generally barred from filing a personal injury tort lawsuit against their employer; though there are many times when they may obtain compensation from third parties such as other contractors, subcontractors, or owners of the well site itself. Additionally, oil field workers may be able to file product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer of defective products which may have caused their injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured by an accident at the Bakken Oil Field or other oil field work, contact the Montana oil field injury lawyers at Hoyt & Blewett PLLC for a private consultation today.