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More fatal workplace accidents on oil-field -- Texas man killed

Typically, when a fatal accident occurs in the workplace, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will investigate to determine the cause of the accident and whether any safety guidelines were violated. OSHA is currently investigating an oil-field accident in another state in which a Texas resident lost his life. Unfortunately, workplace accidents on oil-fields can often be deadly. However, the man's family may be able to find some relief through civil action.

Most of the details surrounding the accident have not been publicly reported as OSHA continues to investigate. So far, OSHA has confirmed that a 41-year-old Texas resident did lose his life in the accident. He was employed by Mercer Well Service, and the company was doing work at an oil well in another state for XTO Energy Inc.

XTO Energy Inc. expressed its remorse over the accident, but the spokeswoman is still keeping specific details under wraps. The oil well is closed while the investigation is ongoing, but OSHA must complete its inquiry within six months. Thankfully, the accident reportedly did not have a negative impact on the environment or ecosystem around the well.

As OSHA continues to investigate, the Texas construction worker's estate has the right to assess its right to pursue legal action. Typically when workers are injured or killed in workplace accidents on an oil-field, that worker (or a fatal victim's family) is typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Moreover, if an on-the-job injury or death is found to have been caused by a negligent third party, the worker's estate may also be able to pursue relief in a civil courtroom, such as a wrongful death claim. In some instances, the employer may face liability claims as well. Situations like this can be complicated; thankfully, guidance is available in our state for persons who seek it.

Source: newsok.com, "Texas man dies in Oklahoma oil-field incident", , Sept. 11, 2014

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