Careers in the oil and gas industry come with an understanding that dangerous situations may exist. While many oil and gas companies work tirelessly to maintain a safe work environment, others may be more lax about their training and ongoing equipment maintenance, which can quickly lead to disaster. If you or a loved one have experienced electrocution or electric shock while working in the oil and gas industry, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Electric Shock Injuries
It is not unheard of for oil and gas workers to be exposed to wiring and electric currents while on the job. Offshore oil rigs are especially prone to electrical issues which require ongoing maintenance so far from land. However, salt water is corrosive and can quickly wear away at electrical wiring causing exposure to dangerous electrical currents and the potential for electric shock.
Electric shock can occur when a person comes into contact with electricity, which can occur through water. The higher the amount of voltage, the greater the injury may become. Exposure to voltage above 500 volts can have devastating results. Most household voltage is between 110 – 220 volts, although equipment found on oil rigs can easily be greater than 500 volts. Electric shock may lead to severe burns or even cardiac arrest. Other severe injuries may be possible if the injured person was thrown back after contact with the electric source. During a 6 month period in 2014, the CDC recorded 45 fatalities that occurred during oil and gas extraction with 4 fatalities the result of electrocution. This number represented one of the largest causes of fatalities and is reason for concern.
Claims for Damages
In Texas, and most states, workers are able to bring a claim under the state workers’ compensation statute. State worker’s compensation laws protect workers in case of accidents and injuries which occur at the workplace. However, in states like Texas, employers can decide whether to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, workers must be full time employees of the company to take advantage of workers’ compensation.
If your injuries do not fall within the strict rules of the state workers’ compensation laws, you may be able to bring a claim for damages under the traditional personal injury laws. An injured worker is entitled to bring a claim for damages against their employee for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
Electric shock and electrocution can be devastating injuries that can impact the future of an employee in the oil and gas industry. The employer should be responsible for maintaining a safe work environment, including taking the appropriate precautions to mitigate exposure to loose wires and electric currents.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have experienced electric shock while working in the oil and gas industry, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in assisting clients with their injury claims after a serious injury has left them bedridden, unable to work, or saddled with medical bills. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.