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Workers' comp benefits will cover oilfield injury costs

Workers in the oil and gas industry risk their lives every day, and the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota are no different. Fire protection forms a significant part of their safety protocols because any oilfield injury suffered in an explosion or a fire can be deadly. Frequent hazard assessments are essential, with the replacement of old and malfunctioning equipment for fire protection forming an integral part of such inspections.

Workers must have quick access to fire extinguishers to contain and isolate any fire that should erupt in their work areas. Those who are particularly vulnerable include welders who perform hot work and are exposed to flammable or combustible materials. The presence of dangerous vapors and gases must be monitored by the use of gas detection systems, and an efficient evacuation system will require emergency alarms and methods to facilitate mass notification.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends evacuation as soon as gas detection systems indicate a certain percentage of the explosive level. All employees must receive frequent safety training in recognizing emergencies and the operation of fire protection equipment. Everybody must be familiar with evacuation procedures, and clear directions and signposts to lead workers to exits can help them all to get away safely.

An oilfield injury -- especially those that are suffered in explosions and fires -- can have devastating consequences that might keep the victim off work for months. To help with high medical costs and lost wages, the injured worker may file a benefits claim with the North Dakota workers' compensation insurance system. Some injured oilfield workers choose to utilize the skills of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to handle the complicated claims procedures for them.

Source:, "5 Fire Protection Tips for Oil and Gas Worksites", Industry, Accessed on Nov. 16, 2017

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