Judge: Oil Field Work Caused Weld County Man’s Death

July 29, 2015

A judge's decision that the death of a Weld County oil and gas worker was caused by exposure to hydrocarbons could have major implications for the industry.

Federal health officials are taking a closer look at the dangers of "tank gauging," the practice of measuring oil levels after opening a tank hatch.

In the Weld County case, a 59-year-old truck driver died after he inhaled a mix of deadly hydrocarbon chemicals. He was among nine oil field workers who died in the past five years while working at crude oil production tanks and measuring the level of oil or other byproducts in tanks.

The Denver Post reports that a state judge ruled this month that the widow of the Weld County worker is owed full workman's compensation benefits.