A Pennsylvania-based company is working to modernize fracking; the process by which natural resources like gas and oil are extracted from the ground after surrounding rock is fractured by pressurized liquid, sand or other chemicals. Schramm Inc. has created the T500XD, a drilling rig that utilizes touchscreens and joysticks to allow the machine to walk, rotate in a full circle, and load pipe. The new device is believed to increase worker safety, including those in Pennsylvania. Dangerous oil jobs that once had to be performed by humans may now be carried out by remote control machines like the T500XD.
Though new technologies like this may help reduce workplace injuries, including those caused by repetitive motion, these technological advancements expose workers to new risks. If employees are improperly trained in how to use new machinery, for example, they may be at an increased risk of being harmed or harming others. Additionally, such new machinery requires routine maintenance practices to be implemented. A failure to do so may result in a serious, life-threatening workplace accident.
The sad reality is that, despite technological advancements, for the foreseeable future, on-the-job injuries will continue to occur. Employees who suffer these injuries may experience extended hospital stays and terrible pain. This type of situation may render an accident victim unable to work, causing him or her to lose much needed wages.
Injured workers in Pennsylvania can seek to take advantage of the workers’ compensation system, which provides compensatory relief to those injured on the job. In order to obtain this money, an injured worker must file a claim that satisfies certain elements. By seeking the help of a legal professional, a hurt employee can ensure his or her claim is as strong as possible and, if necessary, he or she can defeat a claim denial. Then, the worker might be able to recover the compensation needed to pay medical expenses and recoup lost wages.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Walking, ‘talking’ drilling rigs aim to modernize fracking,” Ernest Scheyder, April 15, 2014