Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.

Oil growth continues – watch for injury

Local residents will know that when the warmer months approach, oil pumping gets into full swing.

In a few months, North Dakota could be rolling out more than 1.2 million barrels per day – a recording-breaking figure when you think there are more or less the same amount of rigs compared to a few years ago.

Accidents happen

As a worker -- oil industry or otherwise -- a considerable boom like this is great for the bottom line. Yet, oil production is a naturally dangerous occupation, and people are exposed to countless dangers.

In North Dakota, 34 employees in the oil and gas and construction field have died due to work-related incidents since 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Of these, 21 were working directly on drill rigs, while 13 were in construction-related incidents.

What types of injury can occur?

Of course, with these boom-time opportunities, there are going to be more work injuries. It’s inevitable with more traffic movements on our roads and the added hustle and bustle of oil sites.

Some examples of other injuries:

  • Fall hazards – the leading cause of death in the industry, according to OSHA
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Faulty equipment
  • Struck by hazards
  • Trench cave-ins
  • Truck accidents

Prevention better than cure

As a worker, you can demand that safety be front of your employer’s mind. Just because demand is high doesn’t mean your protection should be compromised. If you see something, say something.

It can seem like there is no time in the busy workday to make these observations. Your employer and OSHA have enforcement programs and eTools in place to help you identify common hazards. There has been “stand-downs,” recently conducted with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration and Production Safety Network, where employers shut down their shops to talk safety for the day.

Cost of injury

If you or somebody you know is involved in any incident, it could hurt not only physically but financially. There are various forms of help available to investigate the safety flaw and find the cause of the accident or the party at fault.

It’s about getting improved safety standards for you, other workers and the company going forward.

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Schweigert, Klemin & McBride, P.C.
116 North 2nd Street
Bismarck, ND 58501

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Phone: 701-214-4449
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