In November, a frozen, high-pressured water line ruptured at a Weld County oil well site. Halliburton workers were attempting to thaw the line when the horrific job accident occurred. The resulting blast killed one of the Halliburton workers and injured another 2. Thomas Sedlmayr and Grant Casey were the injured workers who were flown to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries. Sadly, Matthew Smith of Brighton was the man killed in the accident.

Weld County has been a part of the oil-drilling world since 1979. This year, however, the Anadarko Petroleum Corp. sunk nine new deep horizontal wells. The Halliburton Co. was helping to frack the wells for the Anadarko Petroleum Corp. What is fracking? Fracking is a unique process that involves drilling down into the earth and pumping the inside of the wells with a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals at a very high pressure. This pressure cracks the rock beneath and releases the oil. The accident occurred when a high-pressure water valve ruptured after being frozen overnight. Occupational Safety & Health Administration in Denver were notified of the fatal accident and they are investigating.

Oil and Gas Fatalities

The oil and gas industry is a dangerous industry. In 2012 alone, the fatality rate in the oil and gas industry was about 25 per 100,000 workers, higher than construction and agriculture. Oil and gas workers are routinely exposed to dangers while performing their jobs—and fatal accidents sadly do occur. In 2012, another Weld County oil worker was killed in a drilling accident and in October a Garfield County worker was killed. According to statistics, 19 oil and gas workers were killed in the State of Colorado between 2007 and 2011, making Colorado the 6th most dangerous state for oil and gas fatal injuries. Colorado is home to over 22,000 oil and gas workers—and this number is likely to climb.

Non-Fatal Oil and Gas Injuries

There were more than 1,400 nonfatal injuries in the extraction of oil and gas in 2011 alone and more than 8,500 nonfatal injuries in occupations that supported oil and gas extraction. Drilling oil and gas wells accounted for 2,600 of those injuries

Contact Denver Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love was injured in an oil and gas accident or any on-the-job accident, you have rights. Call Denver worker’s compensation attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached by calling 303.279.0221 or by going to our website online.


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