Some jobs are inherently dangerous. Coal miners, heavy equipment operators, and farmers are well known for having dangerous jobs. Other dangerous jobs, like king crab fishing and ice road trucking, have even been made into reality television shows that emphasize the dangerousness of the job.
Even though some jobs are known to be dangerous, the federal government and state governments still try to make those jobs safer. Whether through laws occupational safety programs, the government is expected to ensure the safety of the nation’s workforce and prevent workplace injuries.
However, the government is a slow moving machine, and can’t always keep up with changing workplaces. One such workplace may be the oil and gas fields springing up in Colorado and across the Western United States.
For example, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Director of North Dakota says that just a few years ago, the oil fields of that state boasted only 4,000 workers. Now the number is closer to 25,000.
Also increasing is the number of oilfield injuries. In the fiscal year of 2010, 747 oilfield injuries occurred in that state alone. That number more than doubled the following year. Injuries ranged from burns to head injuries to crush injuries.
Obviously, with more workers in the field comes a greater chance of being injured, but some worry that the government is not doing everything it can to ensure worker safety.
For Colorado workers who are injured on the job in the burgeoning oil and gas industry, their injuries can be a tough financial and physical blow. The workers’ compensation system is designed to help injured workers receive the financial compensation that they deserve. However, the system can often seem confusing and frustrating, and injured workers often have questions about how they can receive their benefits. If you or a member of your family has been affected by a workplace injury, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Source: KFYR, “String of Oil Field Injuries Raises Questions About Safety,” Brian Howell, September 16, 2011