The oil and gas industry supports a major part of the American economy, but it’s also extremely dangerous work. Highly flammable substances surround oil workers. A single spark or mistake can trigger a deadly explosion.
At the end of January, one such explosion claimed the lives of five workers in Oklahoma. The cause of the explosion is not yet apparent, but an official investigation may soon uncover the events that led to this catastrophe.
Perhaps adding to the tragedy is the fact that the drilling contractor company, Patterson-UTI Energy, has a long history of worker fatalities and injuries. In the last ten years, the company collected 110 safety citations, some of which were severe enough to face thousands of dollars in regulation fines.
It is important to note Patterson-UTI Energy’s history because drilling companies must protect their workers by following regulations. A company that cuts corners can easily risk the safety of its employees. If the investigation shows that the actions of the company started or worsened the explosion, Patterson-UTI Energy may be liable for the deaths of the five workers.
Oil explosions usually have severe consequences. In addition to putting lives in danger, explosions can cause serious burn damage. The smoke and chemical vapors in the air can also significantly hurt workers’ lungs. If companies have a chance to reduce hazards, they could take action to prevent these problems.
Workers who suffer explosions on the job should contact an attorney who can help them seek compensation. These tragedies can permanently change the lives of employees who deserve safety at work.