Employees in oil fields in Colorado and other states face various risks whenever they are on site. Employers in all industries must provide safe workplace environments by addressing all known hazards. However, many companies disregard these responsibilities, and many employees are injured on the job.
On a recent Monday, five employees of a drilling company in a neighboring state suffered injuries in a workplace accident. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the incident occurred on a recent Monday while a drill stem test was performed. Authorities believe that gas escaped onto a warming hut’s deck floor. Heaters were running in the hut at the time.
The hut exploded, and firefighters wasted no time in extinguishing the flames; however, five workers had already suffered burn injuries. Federal safety officers said two of the injured victims were in critical condition. OSHA has launched an investigation into the explosion. According to the federal agency, the employer of the injured workers had a history of exposing employees to workplace hazards. Seven previous citations had been issued to the drilling company, and one investigation followed the death of a worker.
When Colorado workers are injured on the job, they are entitled to pursue financial relief through the workers’ compensation insurance program. Victims of workplace injuries in other states have the same rights, and the burn victims of this explosion may file benefits claims with the insurance program of their state. Depending on the severity of burn injuries, long-term treatment may be required that could even include skin grafts and other costly medical procedures. Fortunately, workers’ comp benefits will cover those expenses along with lost income.
Source: hutchnews.com, “OSHA probing Sharon Springs oil drilling blast that injured five”, Dec. 13, 2016