Fracking Accidents: How Can a Frozen Water Line Cause So Much Damage?

A fracking accident in Weld County killed one and injured two others Thursday morning, November 13, 2014. Authorities say the accident happened when workers were trying to thaw out a frozen water line that had built up dangerous levels of water pressure.

First responders with the Mountain View Fire Rescue estimate that the water line had released 2,500-3,500 pounds of water pressure per square inch. All operations are currently shut down until an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be completed.

What are Common Injuries in the Fracking Industry?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has identified several risks to workers, which is why employers must exercise extreme caution to keep their employees safe. Fracking has the potential to expose workers to silica dust, toxic chemicals and can lead to industrial accidents.

  • Silica dust exposure can cause the lung disease silicosis. Silicosis can cause inflammation and scarring of lung tissue, reducing the lungs’ capacity to take in oxygen.
  • Fracking can expose workers to dangerous chemicals such as benzene. According to the Centers for Disease Control, benzene exposure can lead to organ damage and anemia, and is toxic to the nervous system.
  • Industrial accidents from flammable gas and other hydrocarbons can jeopardize the lives of workers. Faulty equipment can also lead to devastating industrial accidents.

What Can I Do If I Have Been Injured at Work?

Employers in the fracking industry must do everything possible to maintain safe environments for their workers. If you have been injured or have lost a relative due to negligence on part of an employer, co-worker or third-party, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or damages from a civil lawsuit.

In some cases, workers are entitled to more than basic workers’ comp benefits if another person or entity caused or contributed to the accident. To find out all the legal options you may have, the personal injury attorneys at Metier Law Firm offer free, no obligation consultations with injured workers and their families.

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