Harmful Chemical Exposure: Legal Options for Oil Field Workers By Greg Burton on November 09, 2023

Worker at an oil and gas refinery

Our Longview, TX, law firm has a history of helping working families. This is because we understand the financial and physical toll of oil field worker injuries and health problems. If you or a loved one was injured while working in the oil or gas industry, we can help.

Toxic chemical exposure injuries may not be readily apparent. In fact, these kinds of injuries can take years for serious symptoms to finally manifest. Let’s consider the warning signs of toxic exposure among oil field workers and how our team can help.

Health Problems Associated With Chemical Exposure

The health dangers linked to chemical exposure can be severe. For oil field workers, toxic substance exposure over time has been linked to cancer, organ damage, chronic respiratory problems, a weakened immune system, infertility, and mental health issues.

Warning Signs of Chemical Exposure

Early signs of chemical exposure can vary depending on what substances a worker was exposed to. Typically, a worker may initially notice red eyes, irritation of the eyes or skin, coughing, dizziness, headache, and tightness in the chest.

Be sure to seek medical help if you notice any of these more severe symptoms in addition to the warning signs we previously listed:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to breathe
  • Eye or airway discomfort
  • Bodily pain or soreness
  • Mental fog/confusion
  • Burning sensations
  • Skin discoloration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures

Who Can Be Held Liable for Long-Term Toxic Exposure?

In these kinds of cases, the oil field owner or the oil and gas company may be held liable for causing serious medical problems. A lawyer would need to demonstrate that the liable party was negligent in protecting its workers from harm given the dangers of chemical exposure. This might include a lack of protective masks, goggles, attire, or breathing equipment. It may also involve evidence of poor maintenance at a worksite that puts workers in unnecessary danger.

Other Dangers for Oil Field Workers

According to a 2020 article in Occupational Health & Safety, oil and gas workers have a fatal accident rate seven times higher than workers in other fields.

In addition to toxic exposure, oil field workers also face additional hazards at work:

  • Falls - Falling from major heights can result in severe trauma.
  • Burns and Explosions - There is a risk of chemical burns, thermal burns, and trauma from explosions at oil fields.
  • Getting Struck by Tools - Falling tools or issues with stray equipment can lead to all kinds of injuries.
  • Crush and Pinch Injuries - Workers at oil fields and refineries run a risk of getting caught between objects or equipment.
  • Vehicle Accidents - Trucks and other vehicles around an oil field could strike workers or collide with other vehicles.
  • Electrocution - Electrocution at an oil field could cause serious burns and nerve damage.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

If you were exposed to toxic chemicals while working at an oil field, you may be able to seek compensation due to work safety violations. Our Longview oil field attorneys can seek damages that cover your medical expenses and any negative changes to your health, quality of life, and earning potential.

For surviving family members of an oil field worker who died of complications related to chemical exposure, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit to address the tragedy of your loss.

Discuss Your Health Issues With Our Team

To set up a consultation, contact our law office in Longview. Our lawyers stand with Texas oil workers and will fight to ensure you receive legal compensation for your injuries and hardships.

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Randy Akin and Greg Burton

G.R. Akin, P.C.

Randy Akin and Greg Burton have more than 50 years of combined experience. They are affiliated with several professional associations, including:

  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Gregg County Bar Association

Contact us online to ask a question or call us at (903) 297-8929.

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