All operations that involve oil and gas extraction are dangerous, and only employers who maintain zero-tolerance safety protocols can protect employees from harm. Workplace injuries are prevalent in this industry in Oklahoma and other states, and many lives have been lost due to safety violations. The latest oil rig explosion is under investigation by state and federal investigators.
Reportedly, an uncontrolled gas release caught fire at an Oklahoma natural gas drilling rig on a recent Monday. Authorities say they believe one worker unsuccessfully tried to prevent the explosion by shutting down the well. Five workers were killed in the blast, and their bodies were only recovered on the day following the fire.
It was reported that 10 employees at drill sites that were operated by the same contractor had lost their lives in as many years. Authorities also revealed that a U.S. Senate committee report in 2008 described this contractor as a severe violator of safety regulations. Furthermore, this tragedy was placed second only to the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when the lives of 11 employees were lost.
Surviving family members of workers who suffered fatal workplace injuries in an Oklahoma oil patch may be entitled to seek financial assistance. The workers' compensation system typically provides survivors' benefits that cover end-of-life expenses and lost wages. The claims process can prove to be challenging, and many families seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to assist with the navigation of death benefits claims as well as to determine whether options for additional legal recourse are available.
Source: news9.com, "Driller In Oklahoma Explosion Has History Of Fatal Accidents", Jan. 26, 2018