The state of Ohio has benefitted economically from the recent boom in the hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract oil and gas. There is now more and more access to oil and gas reserves that were previously unreachable. However, as the push to extract natural resources expands and these well sites becomes more and more commonplace, it is important that the chances of workplace accidents at these sites does not increase.
Recently, a man died as a result of a tragic explosion at an oil and natural gas well in Lawrence Township, two miles south of Bolivar, Ohio. Although the exact cause of the explosion has not been identified, the victim of this accident is reportedly a 19-year-old man who was painting at the well site. The victim is reportedly an employee of the owner of the well. The explosion was so powerful that it blew the oil-holding tank 300 feet into the air. Witnesses said the ground actually shook when the explosion occurred. No other injuries occurred as a result of this workplace accident.
An investigation is being conducted by various agencies including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Division. It is also likely that OSHA will be investigating the accident to determine whether any safety violations were present at the worksite, and what precautions the employer had or had not taken to ensure the safety of its workers.
If someone is injured or dies in a workplace accident, the Ohio workers’ compensation system provides numerous benefits to the worker or surviving family members. When victims of fatal accidents leave behind any dependents, they should be eligible to receive dependent death benefits through the workers’ compensation system as well.
Ohio residents are often wise to contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in the aftermath of a workplace accident as they begin to navigate the process.
Source: TimesReporter.com, “1 dead in Bolivar well explosion”, July 17, 2012