Oil field accidents involving toxic vapors: A serious threat to workers

Oil and gas field work exposes people to a variety of risks, ranging from explosions to falls from scaffolding. One of the risks that recently made the news is the possibility of inhaling toxic vapors. When workers open a hydrocarbon storage tank, or when there's a leak from such a tank, there's a risk of overwhelming exposure to vapors and death from oxygen deprivation.

The workers most at risk are the ones who work directly with the tanks, for example by manually measuring its levels. The effects of dangerous exposure could sweep through the body quickly, resulting in loss of consciousness and death. Sometimes, workers exhibit symptoms such as dizziness as an early sign of exposure to these vapors.

Emphasizing worker safety

There are various protections that workers should be able to rely on. For instance, they shouldn't work at these tanks alone. Any symptoms they exhibit are meant to be taken seriously. Companies should use monitors to gauge levels of vapors and detect a dangerous decrease in oxygen levels, and workers should receive the proper training and high-quality respiratory protection. It's also possible for companies to use other methods of working with the tanks, such as monitoring tank levels with remote technology.

If you or a loved one has suffered from exposure to toxic vapors in the course of oil and gas field work, please contact us. We will carefully review your case and help you determine the extent of any negligence. We will also help you fight for compensation from insurance companies and any responsible parties. People have a right to a work environment that's made as safe as possible, with any hazards properly handled and dealt with.