Highway Accidents Involving Oilfield Workers
Any individuals ((incommastate)) who work at an excavation site for a natural gas or oil mining operation knows that this is dangerous work to begin with. However, one of the biggest threats facing these employees is trucking accidents. Highway accidents can be dangerous for anyone who has to drive a vehicle for their job, but these can be especially problematic in the oil and gas industry. An oil & gas truck accident lawyer may need to help you determine how to move forward with your legal case after such a crash.
Exemptions Put Drivers in Danger
Many experts who have been involved in legal cases like this and explored the research identify that one of the biggest problems is that the drivers working at oil and gas fields have been exempted from Department of Transportation hours of service rules. Research reported in The New York Times identifies that over 300 oil and gas employees were killed in highway crashes in the last ten years, meaning that the leading cause of fatalities in that industry is vehicle accidents.
In Oilfield workers are exempt from the Federal Motor Carriers' Safety Administration's hours of service rules which allows them to work longer shifts when compared with commercial drivers who work in other industries.
Oilfield workers, for example, are not required to log time waiting in an oil well or natural gas site as on-duty driving time which will count towards a 14-hour period after coming on duty in which driving is allowed. This 14-hour limitation is extended for oilfield workers based on the amount of time they spend waiting. These hours of service exemptions are regularly used to encourage drivers to drive shifts that last 20 hours or longer according to those working in the field. If an accident happens and the employer or truck manufacturer is at fault, the employee may have grounds to hire an oil & gas truck accident lawyer.
The Federal Motor Carriers' Safety Administration has proposed an initiative to clarify such exemptions, and the National Transportation Safety Board has stated that they oppose these hours of service exemptions. In the event that your employer has encouraged you to ignore the hours of service or exclude time of waiting at the site, and you have been injured in an accident due to being drowsy or fatigued, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Consulting with an oil & gas truck accident lawyer is strongly recommended.