We often post about the national stand down for oil and gas workers and the role that the institutions of higher education have played in educating workers and industry leaders in creating safe workplaces. While we also gave you information about the number of fatal workplace accidents across the country in the oil and gas industries, there is more than just statistics to discuss. Unfortunately, the number of fatal industrial accidents in oil and gas is five to seven times higher than the average private employer. When a person in the fracking industry is injured, he or she can seek benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. When a person dies from a fracking industry accident, the victim’s family may have a wrongful death suit against an employer, a manufacturer of a defective product, or some other third party.
In 2014, at least a half dozen oil and gas workers died in Pennsylvania because of workplace accidents. Although the number of nonfatal injuries in oil and gas is much lower than private employers, the severity of the workplace accidents that do occur has placed the industry near the top when it comes to fatal injuries. And since the number of fatal accidents is surging, there needs to be a greater focus on creating safer work environments.
There are certainly some inherent dangers to working in the oil and gas industries, but all employees should be able to go to and from work without fearing that they will become seriously injured or die. It is their employers’ responsibility to create safe places to work, to provide training and safety equipment, and to give workers time to recover if they are injured. Fortunately, when employees are hurt, they can access workers’ compensation benefits until they are well enough to return to work. If you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits, or if you have lost someone to the fracking industry and believe you may have a wrongful death claim, please call the Pittsburgh wrongful death attorneys at Dugan & Associates at 412-922-0800 today for a free consultation.