How Weather Conditions Can Affect Oilfield Workers
While the oil industry in Oklahoma can be lucrative, it is also one of the most dangerous professions in which a person can engage, especially in Oklahoma’s varied climate. Fortunately, it is possible for injured oilfield workers to recover compensation after an on-the-job accident, even if weather contributed to or caused the injury, so if you were recently hurt at work and have questions about filing a claim with your employer, please reach out to our experienced Tulsa oilfield accident lawyers for help.
Summer Weather Conditions
Oklahoma’s climate is unique in that it ranges from humid to semi-arid. For this reason, summers tend to be long and extremely hot, while winters, though shorter, are often severe. Unfortunately these wide swings in temperature can make an already difficult profession, even more dangerous for oilfield workers, who must adapt and prepare for their work based on the season. In the summer, for example, oilfield workers must stay hydrated at all times, as a failure to do so can result in disorientation or lightheadedness and in severe cases, even one or more of the following conditions:
- Heat cramps, which occur when a person sweats excessively, resulting in the loss of salt and causing muscle cramps and severe pain;
- Heat exhaustion, which is more serious than heat cramps, as it can lead to heatstroke and often manifests as dizziness, irritability, a significant increase in body temperature, and heavy sweating; and
- Heatstroke, which occurs when a person’s body can no longer regulate its temperature and typically results in slurred speech, confusion, loss of consciousness, and even seizures.
While many oilfield site employers are careful to ensure that employees are properly hydrated, these kinds of injuries still can and do occur at an alarming rate in the summer months.
Winter Weather Conditions
Snow and ice always pose dangers in the workplace, but can prove deadly on oilfield sites, where employees rely on heavy equipment and often work from great heights. The use of guardrails, safety gear, and non-skid surfaces can all be used to help cut down on these risks during the winter months, but are by no means a guarantee of safety.
Besides slip and fall accidents, oilfield workers are also at risk of suffering from car accident-related injuries, as snow and ice cause hundreds of car crashes in Oklahoma every year. These accidents are particularly dangerous for oilfield workers who operate heavy equipment and large trucks on a regular basis and who stand to sustain catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision.
Experienced Tulsa Oil Field Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one were injured in an oilfield accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Fortunately, although the workers’ compensation program only provides benefits for permanent disability, oilfield employees who are injured at work can also request compensation by filing a civil claim against the well operator for lost wages and pain and suffering. To learn more about pursuing these types of cases, please call the Tulsa oilfield accident attorneys at Levinson Law, P.C. at 918-492-4433 today.