Owners of companies in the oil and gas industry in Colorado have enormous responsibilities in maintaining high safety standards. There are multiple safety hazards to contend with in the oil fields, and disregard of safety regulations can lead to injured workers. Employers who fail to prioritize workers’ safety may also have to face the consequences of inspections and citations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Following the death of an employee in June 2014, two companies were recently cited by OSHA. Investigators determined that inhalation of toxic vapors likely caused the worker’s death. They found that the two companies provided unsafe work environments in which employees were not provided with proper protection. Workers were exposed to toxic fumes when they opened the hatches of storage tanks to measure the oil.
The two companies reached agreements with OSHA to pay $15,000 and $9,800 respectively for their failure to protect the 57-year-old worker. OSHA provides strict regulations to protect the safety of oil field workers. With compliance, many oil field fatalities may be prevented.
The families of injured workers who succumb to their injuries may find it difficult to cope with the financial consequences of the unanticipated deaths. Fortunately, Colorado workers are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance system, and surviving family members may pursue death benefits claims. Through the insurance program, assistance with the expenses related to funerals and burials will be provided along with a financial package to help dependents cope with daily living expenses for a specified time following their tragic loss.
Source: koaa.com, “Oil Field Death“, Feb. 13, 2016