Risk of fatigue-related traffic deaths high for oilfield workers

| Apr 30, 2021 | Oil & GasWork Injuries |

Texas oilfields provide high-paying jobs to people who are willing to work hard and long hours. Their schedule, however, can result in fatigue. When tired oil and gas workers get behind the wheel, their exhaustion too often leads to deadly motor vehicle crashes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that passenger and commercial vehicle accidents accounted for 40% of work-related fatalities within the oil and gas industry.

Reasons for fatigue

Oil and gas workers put in long shifts of 12 or more hours. People might not get a day off for seven to 14 days. The rural locations of most oilfields mean that when people get off work they often have to drive hours to reach their lodgings. Fatigue impairs drivers similarly to alcohol.

Additionally, the daily hours-of-service regulations that normally limit how long commercial truck drivers are on the road do not apply in the oil and gas industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows workers in this sector to regard time waiting for truck loading or unloading as off-duty time. As a result, drivers of oilfield vehicles are often at a high risk of fatigue and serious motor vehicle crashes.

The oil and gas industry has poor safety record

Heavy equipment, chemicals and remote locations have always made oilfields hazardous places to work. Deaths from any type of workplace accident within the oil and gas industry occur at a rate eights times higher than the average number of workplace deaths across all occupations.

Amputations, catastrophic injuries and deaths afflict workers every year. An accident could bring your career to a halt at any time. In the aftermath of an accident, you may have trouble getting clear information from your employer about how to file a claim for compensation. Learning about your legal rights may become necessary when you face large medical expenses and a loss of income.