Bakken Work Comp - a Quik-Start Guide

America's sharp economic downturn and slower recovery fueled the migration of American workers to areas where the work is plentiful and the salaries are high. One of these areas is the Bakken oil field.

If you have worked at Bakken, you may have seen an ugly side to Montana's proverbial "golden egg". OSHA investigators expressed concern that speed bonuses contribute to compromising oil field workplace safety across the Bakken.

The Bakken oil boom has been a serial killer. Big oil companies have largely written the rules governing their own accountability for accidents, potentially putting workers at risk. June 2015

As a result of these practices, you or someone you know may have been hurt. If so, what should you know about work comp?

First, know that you are not alone. The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has excellent online resources to help you understand your rights.

Next, be sure to follow an important first step. According to the Montana State Worker's Compensation Benefits Summary, you must "report all on-the-job injuries to your supervisor, insurer, or employer, as soon as possible. You must give notice within 75 days after the occurrence of the accident. The notice must include the time and place where the accident occurred and the nature of the injury."

A necessary follow-up is to "submit a signed First Report of Injury (FROI) within 12 months from the date of the accident. You can submit this form to your employer, the workers’ compensation insurer, or the Department of Labor and Industry, Employment Relations Division". You can download your copy of the FROI from the Department of Labor and Industry’s Employment Relations Division website, or request one from your insurer or employer.

For more information on your work comp rights and responsibilities, download your Montana Department of Labor and Industry Workers' Compensation Benefits Summary booklet.

Understandably, even these initial steps can seem daunting. If you need reliable help for your Bakken oil field work comp case, simply contact us.