An oil company that was found to be negligent in protecting its workers from harm was sued successfully for $4.1 million in damages by an employee. The incident in which the employee was injured occurred in Colorado, on an oil field where the employee worked as a roughneck. While working in oilfields is a notoriously dangerous profession, employees still do have a reasonable expectation that their employers will look out for their well-being as much as is possible, which they failed to do in this case, according to the jury’s finding.
The Wrong Parts
In the Colorado case, the oil drilling firm was found to have used improper parts in a drilling operation and, because of that, the employee ended up being crushed. The employee did survive, but suffered serious injuries. What made this particular case interesting was that the oil company had sold its operation and, because of that, both the oil company that originally owned the equipment and the company that had only recently purchased it were found to have both been liable to different degrees.
The case also found that the environment in which workers toiled for this oil company was one where intimidation was common. Employees feeling intimidated by supervisors and the company for which they work itself is far too common. In some cases, that intimidation ends up creating a corporate culture where injuries become much more common than they should be, simply because employees do not feel free to voice their concerns.
In the Colorado case, the employer failed to have the employees connect the safety line to the machinery on which they were working, in addition to the fact that they had been trying to use an incorrect part, both of which led to the injuries. The employee, unfortunately, ended up sustaining injuries to his back and to the spine that had impacts on his quality of life.
In any situation where an employee feels that they are being put in needless danger, reporting the incident is absolutely necessary. If one employee is being put in such a situation, it’s likely that others are, as well, and it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up getting hurt. If employers fail to adhere to federal and state regulations regarding their operations, they may end up being cited upon an inspection. In the worst-case scenarios, employees end up being hurt before any action is actually taken.
Intimidation, the fear of losing a job and other factors oftentimes dissuade employees from taking completely justified actions against employers who have put them at risk. If you have been put at risk and have been injured as a result of that, talking to an attorney right away is imperative. There may be limitations on how long you have to act, so speaking with a Houston personal injury attorney right away is your single best option. You can sit down with such an attorney for free, at which time they will determine whether or not it seems likely that you have a good case on your hands.
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