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Explosion at oil well underscores on-the-job risks

For oil field workers in Pennsylvania, every day on the job can include a number of very serious and possibly life-threatening risks. Due to the inherent dangers associated with jobs within the oil and gas industries, employers must take every precaution to ensure workers remain safe and secure. Failure to do so can result in devastating consequences, including the loss of life.

A recent incident at a North Dakota oil field highlights the risk of serious accidents that people working on workover rigs face. At least four workers were involved in an oil well explosion that ultimately claimed the life of one man, according to authorities. Initial reports suggest that a gas pipe with a split in it was to blame, but investigators are still reviewing the accident. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has increased the number of worksite reviews in order to hold employers responsible for safety violations, 48 oil industry workers have died in North Dakota over the last six years, among other workplace fatalities.

Unfortunately for two of the workers injured in the blast, up to 70 percent of their bodies sustained what were determined to be third-degree burns, and they were reported to be in critical condition after undergoing emergency transportation to a burn unit. Another man was also injured but subsequently released after receiving medical treatment.  The deceased man succumbed to his injuries shortly after the explosion occurred.

Injured workers may require additional support after being hurt on-the-job. In this case, consulting with an experienced attorney is highly recommended to ensure that workers are fully aware of all available options.

Source: ABC News, “1 Killed, 3 Hurt in Oil Well Explosion in North Dakota,” James MacPherson, June 20, 2016

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