Friday, April 13, 2012

What to do if you have a work injury on a gas well site?

Accidents on Gas Well sites are far too common in the Marcellus Shale region. This is partly due the fact that a number of different types of specialists and companies are having to work together in a confined area and often with different and varying standards of safety and procedures.

But it is also often that the person or public body responsible for the overall safety of the site has simply not taken enough care over the arrangements or not properly checked that any safety procedures have been properly implemented.

Whatever the cause, injuries on a well pad site very often result in very serious and sometimes fatal injuries and such accidents can commonly occur in the following circumstances:

Being struck by falling loads or equipment

Lifting heavy loads without proper training and supervision

Working with asbestos without proper protection

Not being provided with adequate equipment or clothing (such as a hard hat)

Accidents caused by faulty plant or machinery

Being hit by moving vehicles such as fork lift truck or bulldozer

Falling from a height or from ladders or scaffolding


Toxic exposure

Co-workers who are too tied and overworked being careless.

What sort of compensation might you receive? Compensation for a gas well site injury is to cover for the pain and suffering and distress caused by the injury and also for any loss of earnings, medical fees, rehabilitation costs- in fact any financial loss that has been caused by the accident. As far as possible you should keep any record (such as receipts, prescriptions etc) of payments you have made for things bought as a result of the injury. If the injury is caused by a co-worker, then your only option is getting wage and medical benefits through your employer's workers' compensation insurance company.  If the injury was caused by a third party-- such as an employee from another company working on the site-- then you can also get money for pain and suffering, assuming we can prove that the third party's actions were negligent.

What should I do if I have had an accident on a Gas Well Site? If you have had an accident, however minor, you should ensure that you take the following steps if possible (and as soon as you can after the accident)

Report the accident to your employer or supervisor and make sure it is recorded somehow, such as an incident report, etc.

Take photographs of where you had the accident

Take photos of any of your injuries such as cuts or abrasions as soon as possible after the accident

Keep a record of any potential witnesses to the accident who may be able to help in any future claim as necessary.

Is there a time limit for bringing a Claim? Yes, there are strict time limits for bringing a claim if you have had an accident on a Gas Well site.  There are different time limitations for workers' compensation claims and for negligence lawsuits.  So, the best course of action is to contact an experienced lawyer immediately.  You should contact a lawyer who is both experienced in workers' compensation as well as filing lawsuits, since those areas of the law are very different.

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