Toxic Exposure On Oilfields
Oil field drilling and fracking exposes workers to chemicals, many of which are toxic. Employers are directed to take specific measures to protect their employees from exposure to these kinds of chemicals, such as providing safety training and proper equipment. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to protect oilfield workers, who could end up suffering from devastating illnesses as a result of their exposure.
Dangerous Toxins Encountered on Oilfields
Some of the most dangerous chemicals to which oilfield workers are exposed are actually released during the fracking process, while in other cases, exposure can occur on drilling rigs, boilers, waste pits, and tank farms. The most common chemicals encountered by oilfield workers include:
- Hydrogen sulfide;
- Sulfur dioxide;
- Toluene; and
- Nitrogen oxide.
Exposure to some of these chemicals can cause problems right away. Exposure to high levels of hydrogen sulfide, for instance, can irritate the notes, eyes, throat, and lungs, while also causing disorientation and headaches. Oilfield workers exposed to dangerous chemicals may also experience:
- Difficulty breathing or asthma;
- Nausea and vomiting; and
- Skin irritation and chemical burns.
Long-Term Risks of Exposure to Oilfield Toxins
Repeated exposure to toxic chemicals can also, however, result in long-term health problems, including debilitating conditions like:
- Lung disease;
- Certain cancers, such as leukemia;
- Neurological disorders;
- Liver damage; and
- Vision problems.
Unfortunately, the effects of repeated exposure to toxins often don’t show themselves right away, so it may be many years before a worker realizes that he or she is in the advanced stages of a serious toxin-related illness. Tragically, a lot of the damage caused by exposure to oilfield toxins is irreversible, so injured parties are left trying to limit the damage by working with respiratory experts, cardiologists, dermatologists, and oncologists. All of this care can be prohibitively expensive, which is why it’s so important for oilfield workers who begin experiencing symptoms of toxic exposure, to speak with an experienced oilfield accident lawyer who can help them seek compensation for their medical bills.
Types of Toxic Exposure Claims
Oklahoma workers who were injured after being exposed to toxins while employed on an oilfield have a few different options when it comes to filing legal claims, including:
- Filing a workers’ compensation case, which won’t require any proof of negligence on the part of the employer and will allow for the recovery of medical bills, two-thirds of the victim’s lost wages, long-term disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation costs;
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit, which can be filed by non-employees, like independent contractors who were injured while working on or near an oilfield and could lead to a damages award compensating them for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering; and
- Filing a product liability case, which is an option for those who were injured due to a product defect or faulty protective gear that failed to keep an employee safe from exposure to chemicals.
For help determining which of these options suits your case best, reach out to our legal team today.
Speak with an Experienced Tulsa Oilfield Accident Lawyer
To make an appointment with one of the dedicated and compassionate Tulsa oilfield accident attorneys at Levinson Law, P.C., call 918-492-4433 or send us an online message today.