The Bakken shale is located in western North Dakota. At 200,000 square miles, it is the second largest shale play in the United States. At its peak, there have been almost 200 active oil rigs pumping out over one million barrels a day on the shale. Drilling on the Bakken shale has brought an economic boom to the state. Workers flock from across North Dakota and neighboring states for the opportunity to work on an active rig. The work is difficult and the winters can bring temperatures below zero, but the wages are high. Blue collar workers can make six figures a year. Wages are high not just because the work is difficult, but because it is also one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Drilling for oil involves many separate processes and steps and if even a single step is handled improperly or shortcuts are taken, the results can be catastrophic.
Top Dangers on Bakken Shale Oil Rigs
Oil rigs have dangers at every turn. The top dangers for rig workers include:
- Rig Explosions
- Being Struck by Equipment
Oil Rig Injuries
As production on the Bakken shale has increased, so have the number of injuries and fatalities. In 2010, there were 3 oil rig fatalities in the entire state. That number grew to 5 in 2011 and 14 in 2012. The 20 rig fatalities in 2013 were the most the state had ever experienced. Injuries suffered on oil rigs in 2013 were also an all-time high. The 3,200 reported injuries that year were nearly 5 times the 700 injuries reported just 4 years prior.
Talk to Our Experienced Oil Rig Injury Lawyers
Workers who are injured on an oil rig should consider consulting with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible after being hurt. Even injuries that may seem minor at first can end up causing long-term health problems requiring tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatment. By consulting with an injury lawyer that has experience with oil rig accidents, you can be confident knowing that your legal rights are being fully protected. At Arnold & Itkin, we have won hundreds of oil rig injury cases all across the country, including North Dakota. Our firm represented more crewmembers of the Deepwater Horizon than any other firm in the country. There is no oil rig accident that is too big for our skilled team of injury lawyers to litigate.
Call our firm today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you.