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Workplace accidents on oil fields: 3 killed in explosion

While oil fields provide jobs for thousands of Americans, they can also pose many dangers to workers. One of the largest risks that could cause workplace accidents for oil field workers is the risk of an explosion. Unfortunately, three workers were recently killed during an oil field explosion in Texas.

On March 10, a pulling unit crew comprised of four individuals was working at the site when an explosion occurred. The crew was hired to service the well, but details concerning the specific work that servicing a well entails were not provided. Three of the four workers in the crew were killed in the explosion, but the fourth worker was apparently not injured at all. Their exact locations at the oilfield at the time of the explosion were not disclosed.

What exactly might have led to the explosion is still being investigated, likely by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Parsley Energy of Midland owns the well, and the pulling unit crew was employed as independent contractors for Mason Well Services Ltd. of Odessa. The oilfield is located approximately 40 miles south of Midland, near Rankin.

It will take time for the explosion to be fully investigated, but once it has been, evidence could surface that might indicate negligence on behalf of a third-party. If a third-party is found to have been negligent, then the families of the three workers who lost their lives in the explosion may be able to file Texas wrongful death suits. Typically, the families will be awarded appropriate workers' compensation benefits associated with fatal workplace accidents; however, the presence of a negligent third-party would allow the families to pursue separate claims for monetary relief.

Source: insurancejournal.com, "3 Killed in West Texas Oil Field Explosion", March 12, 2015

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