Fracking entails injecting liquid at high pressure into boreholes or subterranean rocks to pry open the core fissures and extract gas or oil. It has led to tens of thousands of high paying jobs for Americans in key states.
It has also led to America now being able to sell natural gas to the Europeans which is less money for Russia and more for America. It also means America can keep more of its money in America and less going to controversial countries.
A fracking site would usually have anywhere from five to ten different teams of workers operating on different parts of the same project, simultaneously. In the middle of this extensive operation, the fracking workers have to operate heavy duty drills and equipment, large vehicles and trucks, and deal with high-pressure fracking fluids, explosive natural gas, and toxic chemicals. The occupational death rate in the US fracking industry is around 27 per 100,000 workers, which is seven times the average death rate of industrial workers in the country.
Typical Fracking Accidents
Machinery and Motor Vehicle Accidents
These accidents are frighteningly common and could range from a water pump truck running over a worker at the fracking work site to a worker getting seriously injured while operating power tools or other large equipment.
Falls at a fracking site could range from a typical slip and fall injury to a sixty feet plummet for a fracking worker if a large drill or a scaffolding collapse.
Amputations and Disfigurement
Fracking involves the use of high-powered machinery. If the machine malfunctions while it is in operation, it could cause an accident resulting in a loss of limb, major disfigurement, or severe scarring for the worker. These types of accidents on fracking job sites can be a life-altering event for the injured workers.
Fracking work sites pose all the dangers of a large construction zone combined with the risks of an oil refinery. One wrong button pressed could mean a worker getting crushed underneath hundreds of pounds of weight. Crushing injuries at fracking sites could result in severed limbs, wrenched joints, broken bones, and death. Operating in the midst of multiple large machines belonging to different contractors within a small land area, equipment pinch points exist almost everywhere for fracking workers.
Toxic Chemical Exposure
Fracking operations involve the use of volatile acids, compounds, and potent solvents. These toxic chemicals can cause serious injuries in the event of direct exposure. Their long-term indirect exposure has been known to cause serious illnesses, including various types of cancers.
Pipeline Explosions, Ruptures, and Fires
Explosive pipeline ruptures can cause traumatic injuries for fracking employees. Fireballs can result in deep burns and even death. If an employer ignores safety in a site where natural gas is involved, explosions will be a predictable outcome. Results can be catastrophic for the injured fracking workers.
The YouTube video below explains the process of fracking and the danger it could pose.
The Responsibility of the Employers
With the rapid growth of the American fracking industry, HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) training and government regulation must keep pace with the industrial expansion. It is critical to the long-term economic success of the fracking operations.
Employers should make sure that all fracking jobs are meticulously planned out while prioritizing worker safety. OSHA has mandated that fracking workers must receive proper safety training, and workers should be a part of the project planning process.
Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Fracking accidents can cause serious injuries or even death. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a fracking accident, call me at 916-584-9355 for free, friendly advice.
I’ve helped many residents in Sacramento and throughout Northern California receive full compensation for their wrongful death and personal injury cases since 1982.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates.
Photo by jwigley at pixabay.com
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