Fraccidents: Fracking Unsafe for Workers?

Aug 22, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

The natural gas extraction method called Hydraulic Fracturing or “fracking” has become more widely used over the past few years particularly here in Colorado.  The process uses a high volume of chemical-induced sand and water injected into the ground to break down the rocks and release the gas and oil that lie beneath.  New information reveals that it poses more dangers than once thought. Studies performed in Colorado reveal that this procedure increases the amount of toxic and potentially harmful pollutants in the air.

One of the biggest concerns about the effect of fracking is whether it contaminates the water supply. Communities where fracking occurs have up to 17 times more methane gas chemicals in their water than communities with no fracking. Over 1,000 cases of water contamination have been reported thus far as a result of fracking. The by-product of fracking also releases compounds into the air that increase acid rain, and contaminate the air.

Fracking uses tremendous amounts of water (anywhere from 1 to 8 million gallons of water for a single fracking site), and places a tremendous amount of toxic chemicals into the ground that can have many harmful effects on the workers. Up to 600 chemicals are used in the fracking fluid.  Some of these chemicals include carcinogens and toxins that have been shown to pose tremendous health concerns to those exposed to them. To make matters worse, fracking uses around 40,000 gallons of these chemicals per fracking site.

Workers at fracking sites are at the forefront of the exposure of these toxic chemicals. In the past few years there have been many reported incidences of workers who because of their exposure to the toxins involved in the fracking process suffered burns, deformities and scarring. Many have reported injuries as a result of toxin inhalation. Furthermore, the deep drilling involved forces workers to use higher ladders and drilling units – and therefore face greater risks of serious injury. There is also an increase in the use of heavy machinery that exposes workers to more incidents each year.

For this reason, if you are working at a fracking site, it is important that you understand the health risks involved. If you or a loved one has been injured from fracking-related injuries, contact our Denver and Greeley area Workers’ Compensation Attorneys.  We have extensive experience fighting for the rights of workers exposed to toxic chemicals and unsafe working conditions.  Get the benefits you deserve.