Experienced Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Protecting Employees in the Energy Industry
Helping energy sectors workers throughout Tennessee and North Georgia
In 1933, a congressional charter created the Tennessee Valley Authority to help with everything from electricity generation to the manufacture of manure. Today, it “is the nation’s largest public power corporation, providing electricity to Tennessee and part of six other states. In Tennessee, it operates hydroelectric, nuclear, coal-fired, and natural gas-fired electricity generating plants.” When it comes to energy, the TVA has you covered.
As important as this work is, however, the risk to workers is great. Workers in all parts of the energy sector are at risk of serious, even life-threatening injuries. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we help energy workers throughout Tennessee and North Georgia who have sustained critical injuries and illnesses during the course of their work. Our Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers can help guide you through the process of applying for benefits. If you have already applied and been denied, we can represent you in hearings and in appeals. Let our family help you protect yours.
Common injuries for energy sector workers
The type of industry you work in will, naturally, affect some of the types of injuries you may sustain. If you work for EPB or the TVA, you run a greater risk of being shocked or electrocuted, or of sustaining arc burns. If you work in oil and gas, you may face a greater risk of asphyxiation because of noxious fumes, or of thermal burns because of fires or explosions. Working in solar and wind can expose you to the elements: heat stroke, hypothermia, second- or third-degree sunburns, etc. And if you work for Watts Bar, your greatest risk is radiation.
But there are a number of injuries that energy workers face that are not necessarily unique to their industry – the construction industry in particular shares may of these risks – but more common within it than in other, non-industrial jobs. Those risks include:
- Falls from heights
- Crushing or caught-between injuries
- Being hit with objects
- Toxic exposure
- Finger, hand and limb loss
- Injuries from heavy machinery
- Injuries from power tools
We represent energy workers who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, been rendered paralyzed, and who have developed chronic illnesses as a result of their jobs. Whether you are entitled to temporary or permanent disability compensation, or needs vocational prohibitional compensation to help train you for a new role, we will guide you through the process.
If your loved one has died on a worksite, we will work to secure death benefits for you, which can help offset funeral and burial costs. These benefits also include a portion of your loved one’s salary, which can help protect you and your family when you are most vulnerable.
Specific dangers related to trucking and transportation
One of the more pressing concerns for any industry is transporting their products from one place to another. In Chattanooga, Parman Energy Group handles most of our fuel distribution needs, but trucks come in and out of our part of Tennessee as well as Georgia all the time. More trucks mean an increased risk of a crash, but those risks are even greater when it comes to transporting oil and gas, thank to an exemption in the HOS rules for commercial truck drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued this exemption at the behest of the oil and gas industry, and it is a deadly one. Generally speaking, commercial truck drivers must reset at 34 hours of work – but oil and gas trucks get to reset at 24 hours. Furthermore, those 24 hours can come at any time of the day. Additionally, they can log waiting times at facilities as “off” time (provided the vehicle is specifically equipped to transport oil or gas, and ONLY oil or gas); this means that, instead of resting after 14 hours, drivers can actually be on the road for longer periods of time. Finally, their break times can be split; any two hours (or more) spent in a sleeper or in a resting place on a well site as a qualifying break; they can even combine them to make a 10-hour break, because they are not subject to the 8-hour requirement. (Again, this split only applies to oil and gas-specific trucks, which require a specially-trained driver.)
What all of this amounts to is that oil and gas workers can spend all day at a well, and then spend hours driving across the state. Despite the opposition of the National Transportation Safety Board, the exemptions have remained in place, and truck crashes remain the most common cause of fatalities in the sector.
If you were hurt in the course of your job duties – whether you were on a worksite or not – Wagner & Wagner can help you with your quest for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are indelible for workers’ comp, or if your injuries were caused by a third-party (like a manufacturer of a defective product), we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit. You can trust us to stand by you.
Helping energy sector workers secure workers’ compensation benefits
Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law offers honest, practical guidance to injury victims. If you were hurt while working, our Chattanooga workers’ compensation attorneys can help you secure the benefits you need. You can focus on your recovery; we’ll take care of the rest. Please call 423.799.3532 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients in North Georgia, Cleveland, TN, Chattanooga and all surrounding counties.