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With the oil industry having a prominent presence in North Dakota, many people in this state are committed workers in oilfields. The oil industry is dangerous and workers need to learn about the risks associated with this type of job. While there are numerous dangers workers should know about on an oilfield, those associated with hazardous chemicals should be among their priorities. Workers, you need to understand the potential dangers, the safety measures, and your rights as a worker to stay protected in this high-risk environment.

What Workers Should Know About Hazardous Chemicals in the Oilfield

The oilfield industry is among one of the most dangerous industries to work in in the U.S. This is true for a number of reasons, but the fact that workers work around and with some very toxic chemicals is a big one. You see, oil production is a complicated process and it requires a significant amount of chemicals for the final product to be produced. Throughout the process, there are a number of chemicals, some of which are both invisible and odorless, that can put workers’ lives at risk.

With workers being around such hazardous chemicals, oil companies need to provide adequate training for workers so that they can be educated in the proper handling of hazardous materials and how to properly safeguard themselves against potential hazardous chemical dangers. Additionally, employers should provide proper safety equipment aimed at preventing or minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals. Without proper training and safety equipment, workers are put at needless risk of sustaining harm and developing serious illnesses.

Some of the most hazardous chemicals in oilfield industry work include:

  • Benzene: This is a central petrochemical solvent involved in oil production. Exposure to this toxic substance has been revealed to decrease white cell production in bone marrow. This, in turn, reduces the immune system’s ability to properly function. As a carcinogen, benzene has been linked to multiple cancer types including leukemia, breast cancer, and urinary cancer.
  • Sulfur dioxide: This is a prominent pollutant generated in places where fossil fuel combustion takes place, such as oilfields. Exposure to sulfur dioxide can lead to lung cancer and heart attacks as well as different cardiopulmonary diseases.
  • Petroleum coke: Also referred to as “petcoke,” this hazardous substance is a byproduct of tar sands used in oil processing. It is a heavy dust containing multiple chemicals and heavy metals that are harmful.

Exposure to hazardous oilfield chemicals can cause injuries and illnesses such as:

  • Brain damage
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Birth defects
  • Long-term respiratory problems
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Eye and skin irritation

North Dakota Personal Injury Attorneys

If you are an oilfield worker who has been harmed due to chemical exposure on the job, do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Pringle & Herigstad for assistance. Your exposure and resulting harm may have been caused by company negligence. Our team of qualified attorneys can help determine who can be held accountable for your injuries and see to it that you are properly compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.