Despite New Regulations, Workers' Comp Still Available After Bakken Accidents

While most oil shipments by train arrive safely at their destinations, recent explosions have influenced the U.S. and Canada to enact new regulations to strengthen railroad oil tankers. This move may be necessary as there has been a 4,000 percent increase in oil shipments by rail since 2008 due to oil traveling from Bakken Shale.

The Coming Changes reported that the new regulations would require advanced breaking systems in crude oil trains, and speed limitswill be imposed for trains that do not meet the new safety standards. Railroads must also use risk assessments to find the safest routes for oil shipments.

The Need For Improvements

A July 2013 accident in Quebec shows how dangerous oil train problems can be as 47 people died when an oil train exploded. There have also been many recent derailments like the one on May 6. While no one was killed in this accident, a Bakken crude train went off the tracks, which caused the evacuation of a small North Dakota town after six cars started burning.

Reaction To Regulations

While the regulations are supposed to improve rail safety, one U.S. senator said these changes were only one step in the right direction. No one seems satisfied with the new rules as the president of the Association of American Railroads said this will back up the rail system. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club felt the 2020 deadline to comply with the regulations put communities at risk since they felt like railroads were given too much time as the railroads could double their operations to work faster before 2020.

Employees may be entitled to workers' compensation when involved in oil related accidents. Contact us to learn about your rights when injured on the job in the Bakken Shale area so that you can get the workers' comp benefits you deserve.