Gillette Gas and Oilfield Chemical Exposure Lawyers
Did You Develop an Illness From Your Worksite? We Want to Help
Jobs located in oil and natural gas fields are among the most dangerous in the United States. And because the petrochemical industry is a big part of Wyoming’s economy, most of us know someone who works in these risky environments. So the question naturally arises - when an employee gets injured or sick in a workplace-related incident, who is responsible for the costs?
Wyoming has strict laws in place that are meant to protect workers. Unfortunately, insurance companies or workers’ compensation programs may be more interested in protecting their bottom line than paying up.
The trial attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., have a proven track record of success protecting people who were hurt in gas and oilfield accidents. Contact us today at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what your rights are after a workplace accident or illness.
The Oil & Gas Industries Have a Lousy Safety Record
According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the oil and gas industry has one of the highest fatality rates in the country. Severe injuries, which are defined as injuries that cause hospitalization or the loss of a body part, are also a problem. In the period covering 2015 and most of 2016, the most common serious injury was amputation, often due to getting a body part caught in equipment. Also high on the list were bone fractures, falls from height, being struck by objects, and fires.
The records go back many decades, and show that while some improvements have been made, the oil and gas industry is still a deadly place to make a living, with a higher accident rate than construction, trucking, and other high-risk jobs. This points to an industry that has failed to implement the necessary safety regulations to protect its workers.
Accidents Aren’t the Only Problem in Oil & Gas Sites
More and more workers are contracting serious illnesses due to exposure to toxic chemicals in their work environment. Perhaps the best known of these is benzene, a flammable liquid that evaporates quickly when exposed to air. It is one of the top 20 most-used chemicals in America in a range of industries, and has a long history as an industrial solvent and gasoline additive. For workers in the oil and gas industry, benzene is naturally found in crude oil and gasoline.
Studies on both people and animals have shown that benzene is a carcinogenic. A direct link has been found between work in the oil and gas industry and an increased rate of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and other blood-related cancers.
Another toxic substance frequently encountered during oil and gas extraction is hydrogen sulfide. This foul-smelling gas is naturally found in humans in small amounts, but exposure to high concentrations can lead to problems ranging from nausea and headaches to respiratory tract irritation, pulmonary edema, and worse.
Other dangers include the presence of silica, a crystalline dust that can be toxic to breathe in, and hydrofluoric acid or hydrogen fluoride, which can be deadly if it comes into contact with your skin. And while accidents involving large amounts of these substances do occur, workers can be exposed to lower-but-still-dangerous amounts on a regular basis, which can lead to all kinds of chronic diseases.
What Can Be Done to Protect Workers?
Oil and gas fields are dangerous places to work. Employers have to exercise all due caution and implement strict safety guidelines. Employees need to be adequately trained on the risks they face on a daily basis, and when accidents or illnesses do occur, the company needs to take responsibility for providing adequate long-term care. If they fail to do so, they need to be held accountable.
At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we take pride in representing Wyoming workers who have been injured in the line of duty. We are committed to ensuring you are fully protected and your family is provided for. Contact us today at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free evaluation.
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