A slip and fall accident is one of the risks of working in the oil and gas industry in California. Workers are on their feet for hours, often while dealing with bad weather. Some of the potential slip-and-fall hazards on the job include:
- Slippery well pad liners
- Using heavy equipment
- Maneuvering around cords and cables
These are just a few out of a long list of hazardous conditions that oil and gas workers face while on the job. A slip and fall accident at work can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life. You will need to report your injury to your boss and file a workers’ compensation claim. You may be unable to return to work anytime soon. Some accidents even result in a permanent disability that results in the worker having to give up his or her career.
Falling on slippery surfaces or tripping over objects makes up 23% of all injuries in the oil and gas industry, according to Occupational Health and Safety, which posted an article about how to prevent injuries. Alarmingly, 36% of the fatal accidents in the industry are traced back to slipping, tripping, and falling.
What can companies do to minimize the risk of accidents?
While slip and falls happen, there are ways to reduce the risk for all workers. Below are steps your company should take to keep you safe if you work in the oil and gas industry:
- Keep tools and equipment in good condition: In many cases, a workers' compensation attorney investigates a client’s injury case and finds out that the company failed to regularly maintain equipment. Pumps, valves, and fittings end up developing leaks that create slippery surfaces. But even equipment that has been properly maintained can leak. Non-slip grating will help, but the company will need to make sure the surface is regularly cleaned.
- Keep the area clear of clutter: Workers are safer when walking through clear spaces. Tripping accidents happen when the well pad is cluttered with tools, cords, cables, packing material, and other equipment. A company needs to ensure the items are properly stored.
- Environmental constraints: Oil and gas companies use secondary containment systems to prevent liquids from leaving oil and gas exploration, drilling, and refining sites. They’re important systems that are designed to capture spills in addition to rainwater and snowmelt. However, standing water sometimes pools in the area around the systems, which can lead to slip-and-fall injuries. The use of raised, slip-resistant grating in these areas is a smart approach to address the problem.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Occupational Health & Safety recommends using PPE after implementing engineering controls and establishing administrative controls. PPE includes slip-resistant footwear. But even the best designed footwear might not prevent a slip-and-fall accident, which is why companies need to focus on establishing good housekeeping practices and maintenance schedules.
How a workers compensation attorney can help
The workers’ compensation claim process can quickly become complicated, especially with cases involving slip and falls in the oil and gas industry. For example, you may not feel healthy enough to return to work, but the workers' comp insurance company might insist you are ready. In other cases, injured workers discover they have been denied proper medical care and financial compensation.
You have a right to file a claim and receive benefits if you were injured at work, regardless of who was at fault. Getting injured is a stressful and frightening ordeal. You should focus on your recovery. Let an experienced attorney focus on your claim.
Start today with a free consultation. Contact McLaughlin & Sanchez to discuss your case and help you find the best course of action.