Hydrofracking Accidents and Workers Compensation
The process of hydrofracking is leading to an increase in workers compensation claims. These workers compensation claims are being made by workers who have been injured or become ill as a resulting of working on hydrofracking projects.
Hydrofracking is a new development in the extraction of natural gas. Hydrofracking enables natural gas producers to extract natural gas from dense shale formations in a more economically possible way, where before it was not.
Hydrofracking is known by other names. It is also referred to as fracking, hydraulic fracturing and slick water hydraulic fracturing.
Hydrofracking is not the same as conventional natural gas drilling. One difference is that with hydrofracking there is an increase in the potential for toxicity and the long-term impacts of toxicity. Another difference is that hydrofracking uses far more water than conventional drilling does, and there is a “slick water” mixture that is pumped into the shale for the purpose of fracturing the rock and releasing the gas.
There are some major environmental concerns that are associated with hydrofracking. These include:
- Species and habitat disturbance
- Subterranean and surface damage that includes forestland loss
- Surface and groundwater contamination
- Multiple well sites
- A likely increase in the number of access roads to the well sites.
The problem is that hydrofracking uses anywhere from 6 to 8 million gallons of freshwater per fracking (varies with the depth of the gas deposits and the shale), and it uses sand or some other light weight “proppants” (substances that are used to prop open the fissures brought about by the well bore so the gas can seep through the pores in the shale). After the proppant and water are injected into the shale, several chemical-based additives are used so that the natural gas can be extracted in an efficient, timely and more overall economic process.
Hazards of Hydrofracking
Hydrofracking causes explosions underground that release the natural gas. However, these explosions also release carcinogenic, radioactive and otherwise toxic materials, which can leak into drinking water that is nearby.
In addition to this, the chemical-based additives that are used in the slick water mixture can be extremely hazardous. Some of the chemicals that are commonly used by drilling companies include:
- Glycol ethers
- Sodium hydroxide
- Hydrochloric acid
- Ethylene glycol.
Work Injuries and Hydrofracking
Workers on hydrofracking projects can sustain a variety of injuries. The equipment that is used is large, enormously powerful and heavy. There is the danger of broken bones, sprains, muscle strains and amputated limbs.
In addition, exposure to the chemicals that are used can result in diseases and disorders like cancer. There is also the danger of chemical burns or injuries from fires that result from chemical spills.
If you are a worker who has been injured or has developed a disease or illness as a result of working on hydrofracking projects and you have been turned down when you applied for workers compensation benefits, or you have had difficulties getting the workers compensation benefits that you deserve; you need to contact a workers compensation attorney. A workers compensation attorney can help you get all of the workers compensation benefits that you have coming to you.