Excessive Noise: A Common Hazard in The Oil and Gas Industry
Noise is one of the most common occupational hazards in the US, with occupational hearing loss ranking as the most frequently reported work-related illness. Workers in the oil and gas industry are at a particularly high risk of excessive noise exposure.
A large number of oilfield workers suffer hearing loss and other impairments every year because employers and contractors fail to take the required safety measures to mitigate the risk.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an oilfield-related accident or suffered excessive noise exposure, an experienced oil and gas industry personal injury attorney in Louisiana can help you recover your rightful compensation from the negligent parties.
Excessive Noise Risks in the Oil and Gas Industry
Four major stages of the oil and gas industry are drilling, hydraulic fracturing, completion, and development. Studies show that noise levels at every single stage often exceed permissible residential and commercial levels. Drilling, compressors, fracturing, venting, flaring, and vehicle noise contributes to excessive noise levels.
Such noise affects both workers and the nearby residential population as was stated in a recent scientific literature review. A research report published on Science Direct showed a relationship between adverse public health outcomes and environmental noise exposure from the oil and gas industry. The study also highlighted various oil and gas activities that can produce loud noises that impact cardiovascular health and sleep quality.
Industry noise affects on-site workers the most since they are working in close proximity to these machines and processes. Employers are required to provide adequate protective equipment to these workers. You may have a lawsuit if your employer failed to fulfill their responsibilities.
Noise Risks to Workers in the Oilfield Industry
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is common in several industries, including forestry and agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transportation. Research shows that workers in the oil and gas industry are at a higher risk of NIHL as compared to other sectors.
One study compared the audiograms of 1.9 million workers across different industries. Workers employed in the mining, and oil and gas extraction (OGE) industries witnessed a higher prevalence of hearing impairments as compared to other industries. OGE came in second with a 14% prevalence and mining came in highest with a 24% prevalence.
Another report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted that 17% of workers employed in the mining, quarrying, and OGE sector suffered from some form of hearing impairment. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report on workplace noise exposure and the use of safety devices, such as Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs). They observed that workplace noise exposure was the highest in the mining, and oil and gas industries followed by the lumber sector.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
These are a few initial signs of hearing loss:
- Asking people to repeat what they said.
- Difficulty hearing others speak, especially children and women.
- Ringing sensation in the ears.
- Favoring one ear over the other.
- People comment that you can’t hear that well.
Employers are required to take a proactive approach to prevent NIHL. It’s crucial for employers to follow local and federal laws regarding noise exposure in oil and gas fields.
Do I Have an Oilfield Injury Lawsuit for My Hearing Loss?
There are several instances that may qualify you for filing a lawsuit against your employer or another entity. You should have your own investigation into the cause of your hearing loss.
You may also have a lawsuit if you or someone you love was seriously injured in the oil field. In most cases, an injury is caused by the failure of equipment or personnel.
Heavy machinery used in the oil and gas industry is very noisy. Without proper hearing protection, an employer may place oil field workers at severe risk of hearing loss. In addition, burst pipes and sudden explosions can also contribute to hearing loss.
Any sound, if loud enough, can be a hazard. The same holds true if the person is exposed to the loud sound for a long time on a frequent basis. Noise exposure beyond recommended levels can permanently damage hearing. You may have a lawsuit if your NIHL is due to the following:
- Failure to follow safety regulations and procedures.
- Explosions and fires.
- Failure to guard dangerous equipment conditions.
- Fall and crush injuries.
You should retain an attorney to investigate the cause of the injury and any potential defendants. This will help in determining the odds of a lawsuit. Oilfield companies and supervisors are legally obliged to ensure the well-being and safety of all employees.
You can file a lawsuit even if you received workers’ compensation. Your attorney will help you understand your legal rights and the best way to recover compensation.
Legal Advice is Here from Proven and Trusted Oilfield Injury Lawyers in Louisiana
If you or a loved one contracted an illness or suffered an injury from working in an oilfield, the experienced attorneys at the Trainor Law Firm can help you secure the financial compensation you need to move forward with your life.
At the Trainor Law Firm, our attorneys can help you with all aspects of the injury claim, including determining the full extent of your damages, investigating the cause of the accident and injuries, establishing strong evidence, and negotiating for maximum damages with the defendants.
To schedule your free case review with our lawyers today, call us at 985-545-3422 or contact us online.