The oil and gas industry is a leader in hazardous work environments and may have many employees that require workman’s comp after an accident. Workman’s comp may be used to cover medical costs, disability reimbursement or funeral expenses — in the event of a fatal injury. Colorado has seen multiple injuries and fatalities occur among employees within the oil and gas industry over the years.
Reports indicate that many oil and gas companies in Colorado hire entry level personnel that have a relatively small amount of experience. Some oil and gas work sites in other states have been accused of maintaining workers that are minimally experienced and may not receive routine inspections. An occupational safety consultant that is seasoned with many companies based off of the Bakken shale believes that safety hazards can exist without proper training.
Records show that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration implemented an oil and gas industry specific safety programs and has recently increased the number of inspectors they have on staff. A lack of accountability may lead some employers to relax safety regulations which may place workers in a dangerous situation. A worker that is not familiar with safety procedures may not be able to protect themselves from an accident.
In the event a person is seriously or fatally injured while working on an oil and gas site, workman’s comp may be needed. Benefits can help provide treatment and protect lost wages. A victim in Colorado that is questioning their ability to collect compensation benefits after being hurt at work may seek out a professional to help guide their process.
Source: inewsnetwork.org, “Dark Side of the Boom: North Dakota’s Oil & Gas Worker Fatality Rate”, Jordan Wirfs-brock, Sept. 23, 2014