Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” is becoming the talk of the country. Whether it is the damages that the fracking process is causing to the environment, or the toxins that are being released into the air harming the people in the nearby communities; fracking is a hot commodity of discussion today. What many people are not discussing; however, is the fact that this fracking process is actually proving to be extremely dangerous for the workers themselves, not just the people in the area or planet earth.
According to a recent article by the New York Times, more and more workers are receiving severe on the job injuries and the number continues to steadily increase. Ambulances are frequently arriving to the scene and leaving with bodies that are mangled and bloody from the terrible accidents they are involved in. Even more workers are receiving severe burn wounds from the hot water temperatures, they are having their hands crushed, and incidents in which chains will essentially hack off their feet at the ankles.
The process of hydraulic fracturing is a newer method for which companies are trying to find oil and natural gases in the pits of the earth. Though they may be successful, this process is coming at a high price for the workers. Fracking is not only leaving these workers with countless injuries on a regular basis, the health affect may be just as bad, if not worse. They are frequently being exposed to countless toxic chemicals and gases, and there is even a large chance that their personal drinking water is contaminated by their environment. In the state of Pennsylvania, the doctors were so concerned with the health issues in the workers that the fracking companies established a “gag rule”. This allowed for certain physicians, while under a very secret contract from both the patients and other professionals, to know of the secret ingredients used the fracking process so that they could treat the workers.
This line of work is known for both the physical injuries, severe illnesses, but it also has a great emotional effect on most of the employees as well. They spend countless hours of working hard, often in the freezing cold, while they are often isolated and receive very poor nutrition on the job. Many of these workers then turn to drugs and alcohol addictions to help cover the pains and sorrows of this difficult lifestyle. Reports also show that among workers and within the communities of “boom towns,” there are a high number of sexually transmitted diseases as well as rapes, sexual assaults and domestic violence against woman. These men and woman are placed into an environment that is unhealthy and lonely, and tragedies are happening as a result.
Even with these numerous injuries and health concerns widely known, many reports show that these workers are deprived of good medical coverage in the event that are made ill or injured. The Times article discusses the rapid rate for which these injuries and illnesses are occurring. Their records display that they have quadrupled over the past five years in ambulance visits, as well as their debt increase 2,000% hitting $1.2 million for the workers of the fracking industry. With this growing industry of shale oil and gas extraction, one of the main reasons for workers not receiving strong insurance and health care is because it is such transitory industry that is still highly questioned. Companies do not want to take the risk of long term investments if it turns out that this industry is not as effective as they had once hoped.
Workplace injuries and illnesses are not restricted to the fracking industry; however. On a daily basis workers are being injured on the job and then not receiving the compensation or insurance coverage that they deserve. If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, contact a trusted Shreveport injury lawyer today at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. Injuries can be caused in the construction industry or even at a safe office. Sadly there are many cases when employees do not receive the workers compensation they need to cover the medical expenses, the disability time, and other benefits that are necessary after an injury. At our firm we will do whatever we can to help you receive what is rightfully yours after a wrongful injury or death of a loved one. We understand that you may be unable to come to our office after an injury, fear not; we will come to you! Call us today for more information and we can discuss the next steps of your case!