Oil field accidents: The risk of vehicular collisions on the job

A recent article from Inside Energy discusses recent job openings in the Bakken region and attempts to recruit more workers. A number of the positions highlighted in the article demand a commercial driver's license and would require operating a vehicle, such as a truck. (There may also be other positions involving vehicle operation that don't require a commercial license.)

Even as workers take advantage of the opportunities opened up by these jobs, they need to be informed about the safety risks. Vehicular accidents during oil field work occur regularly, and some of them result in serious injuries or death.

Crowded, disorganized work sites increase the chances of a vehicular accident, as trucks and other vehicles need to maneuver through relatively confined spaces filled with people and objects. Vehicular collisions are also more likely to occur when drivers are overworked or fatigued. They're more likely to lose focus and possibly even doze off behind the wheel; even a second or two of inattention or sleep can cause a tragic accident.

Lack of training is another contributing factor to vehicular collisions. Are workers being assigned tasks that are commensurate with their level of experience and training? Do they know how to safely operate their vehicles under a variety of circumstances? Accidents may also result from vehicles that are poorly maintained; for example, there may be a problem with the brakes that goes detected because the proper safety inspections aren't performed.

Vehicular collisions related to oil field work can lead to death, brain and spine injury, burn injuries (from fuel-related explosions), exposure to toxins, broken bones, and internal bleeding. Workers need to be fairly compensated in order to cope with the costs of serious medical problems and potential changes in quality of life and the ability to work. Should you suffer an oil field vehicular collision, please contact us for high-quality legal representation.