San Antonio Oil and Gas Accident Attorney
Those who work in the oil and gas industry understand and accept the hazards they face nearly every single day when they go to work. Every day, oil and gas workers have long days while working with large and heavy machinery as well as with combustible and sometimes poisonous chemicals. All of these combined factors make for a very hazardous and stressful work environment. The possibility of facing a fire, explosion or falling object, among other hazards, is simply a fact of life when you work in the oil patch, or on the oil rigs and refineries. At any time, a single, seemingly small careless act can lead to catastrophe.
Unfortunately, workers oftentimes have little control over what happens around them. At oil and gas worksites, drilling rigs, and refineries, there are a number of companies, all of which are equipped with different levels of safety training. Different companies with different company cultures means that the attitude toward maintenance often varies, which means the condition of the equipment used can range from near perfect to seriously degraded. All of these factors can contribute to the cause of injury, wrongful death and other tragedies. The San Antonio oil and gas injury lawyer at Hill Law Firm has dealt with a wide array of causes for oil field and refinery tragedies, including:
- Hot Work or Welding Activities
- Improper Cleaning/Flushing
- Inhalation Dangers (H2S Exposure)
- Silica Exposure (Silicosis)
- Falling Objects
- Electrical Fires
- Oil Drilling Equipment Failures
- Car Accidents
- Hot Steam Exposure
- Chemical Exposure
- Defective Refinery or Drilling Equipment
While it is not a new process, hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become far more widespread recently. Without question, this process requires the use and handling of many chemicals and agents known to be dangerous and deadly. And while other hazards in the oil and gas industry are well-established, the effects of silica (sand) dust exposure on the workers in the oil patch are becoming more concerning.
Hydraulic fracturing involves the use of large quantities of silica sand to “stimulate” well production. The sand is used to prop open little fissures in the shale and allow for the release of hydrocarbons after the formation is fractured. The entire process, from beginning to end, can result in significant silica exposure for workers in oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Workers in the oil and gas industry are constantly exposed to silica dust through various jobs including the following tasks: refilling and emptying the trucks moving the silica sand to the fracking location; filling and refilling sand movers with silica sand and moving them down a conveyor belt; refilling the blender hoppers; and being on location during the fracturing of a well.
Workers who have been exposed to silica dust are at greater risk for a number of serious inhalation injuries from silica, including silicosis, which usually develops when particles of silica dust get into the lungs and cause scarring and hardening of lung tissue. Signs of the early stages of the disease can include shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and a fever. Late stage silicosis is usually marked by a worsening of those symptoms, plus a chronic inability to breathe, chest pain, chronic fatigue and weight loss, and respiratory failure.
Call our San Antonio Oil and Gas Injury Lawyer
When someone is injured or wrongfully killed in an oilfield or refinery accident, it is extremely important that a complete and full investigation is performed regarding the causes of the accidents to protect the rights of everyone involved. Often this can mean obtaining the services of an aggressive attorney to advocate for the victims. Our personal injury attorneys in San Antonio have the resources, knowledge, and experience to represent you or your loved one in an oil field or a refinery lawsuit. For questions or a free case consultation call our San Antonio office today at (210) 960-3939.