Workplace Injuries in the Bakken Oil Fields

In a recent episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight”, ​John Oliver​ lampooned our neighbor, North Dakota for being too hospitable – especially towards oil companies. Focusing on the ​Bakken Oil Fields,​ Oliver’s piece touched on many of the legal repercussions of the oil boom. Although the segment starts off on a light-hearted note, it takes a grim turn as the realities of his satirical tone become apparent.

Oliver hones in on how, in the wake of fatal incidents and subsequent investigations, workplace safety regulations have not been up to par, and have resulted in ​workplace injuries​ across the Bakken Oil Fields.

Oliver highlights how indemnity laws in North Dakota offer oil companies protection from being held accountable for workplace injuries. However, the same sanctuary is not offered by other states. In Montana, for instance, oil companies are not allowed to enter construction contracts with subcontractors which indemnify them for their own negligence. The effect of that ban helps to ensure that oil companies are responsible for the safety of the workplaces they oversee.

Workplace safety is a critical issue and oil workers in Montana deserve to be protected from hazardous working conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 27 fatal occupational injuries in 2014 as well as 211 reports of occupational injuries in Oil and Gas Extraction alone.

How can injured oil workers hold their oil company employers and subcontractors accountable in Montana?

Stand up for yourself and your coworkers by hiring experienced ​oil rig accident lawyers​. Filing a lawsuit can achieve more than financial compensation. It can hold oil companies and subcontractors responsible and force them to take action to improve safety. The realization that unsafe practices cost them money is the incentive they need to enforce responsible safety regulations.

Workplace injury​ lawsuits are not the only way to hold Big Oil and their subcontractors accountable for their actions. With oil spills, leaks, and desertification, oil companies can have an immense impact on the environment, farmland, and property value. John Oliver cites the Bakken oil fields as having released 18.4 million gallons of toxic chemicals over the past decade.

It is a common misconception that farmers and landowners are not able to fight back against these big companies. But by hiring experienced ​oil spill attorneys, affected parties are able to recover lost profits, property damage, remediation costs, and emotional distress from oil companies who pollute their land.

Standing up to Big Oil means enforcing your rights and doing your part to ensure safer regulations are put in place to better protect Montana’s oil field workers. If you have suffered a workplace injury you can ​contact us ​to help you obtain compensation and prevent the next accident from happening.