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Oil Industry

What’s it Like to Live in a West Texas Man Camp?

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

Oil fields are in some of the most rural parts of the country, from the Bakken Shale in western North Dakota to deserted areas of the West Texas Permian Basin. No matter how remote these areas are, oil companies travel far and wide to extract this precious “black gold,” and pay top dollar to anyone willing to join them.

However, with the nearest town many miles away, oil companies quickly realized that having workers make an unreasonably long commute to the job site every day was unsustainable and inefficient. The solution was man camps — comfortable lodging for employees during the work week.

The living experience in these facilities ranges depending on the area. New companies like Target Hospitality have sprouted up to meet the needs of the thousands of oil field workers seeking housing while earning a decent wage.

Here’s more on life in a man camp and how it has impacted the local communities.

What is a West Texas Man Camp?

A man camp is temporary lodging for oil field workers. Often, it’s an oil field worker’s only option for housing unless they want to make the long drive home or pay up to $500 for a hotel room. These camps house between 50-2,000 workers and come in many different forms, from barracks-style camps to prefabricated modular homes. Many man camps function more or less like an RV park with several homes with dormitory style rooms.

Man Camps Must Meet State Regulations

Although man camps are built in off-the-grid locations, they must still abide by state regulations to ensure buildings are safe and functional. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation governs man camps and requires them to meet the Texas building code and Texas Accessibility Standards. These requirements include regulations for plumbing, general building elements, electrical codes, and more.

What’s it Like to Live in a Man Camp?

There are several misconceptions about Texas man camps. The name “man camp” alone suggests that it’s the Wild West consisting of hot-headed employees living in deplorable conditions.

While some man camps are more luxurious than others, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Organizations like Target Hospitality prohibit alcohol and weapons at their man camps and have a zero-tolerance policy for poorly behaved oil field workers.

Employee Rooms

Some camps have better amenities than others. You might have your own room or share a room with someone who works an opposite shift than you. For example, you might room with someone who works the night shift while you work the day shift.

There is a broad spectrum for the quality of bedding in an employee’s room. Some camps might offer more comfortable bedding to ensure workers are well-rested for their next shift. Additionally, you may have a private shower in your room or have to bathe in a community shower.

Food Services

Food in man camps also depends on where you live. All workers receive three meals a day and a meal to take on the job site. Some man camps, like those run by Target Hospitality, invest heavily in high-quality food, whereas others provide lower-quality foods.

Recreational Activities

Although oil workers have little downtime, they may have the option to spend it at the man camp’s recreational facilities. Target Hospitality’s man camps include game rooms, fitness centers, and swimming pools for guests to enjoy while they’re off the clock.

The Issue with Man Camps

Although man camps offer many amenities that employees take advantage of, they still lack one thing — family. Many workers would much rather “man camps” become “family camps” so they don’t have to go long periods without seeing their loved ones. However, families coming to man camps creates another issue.

Families require grocery stores, schooling, and more spacious housing, like how the military accommodates families on U.S. bases. Further, with rural areas being inundated with thousands of oil field workers, the local cities have felt a strain on their resources, simply being unable to accommodate everyone’s needs. Local towns may feel the initial benefits of increased sales, but the overall infrastructure may suffer long-term.

Injured on an Oilfield? Call Kemmy Law Firm

No matter how accommodating a Texas man camp can be, it’s not for everyone, and it doesn’t change the fact that oil field employees face many dangers on the job. Further, if man camps aren’t up to code, you could suffer from an injury at your temporary residence.

If you feel that the oil company’s negligence caused your injuries in any way, reach out to the personal injury lawyers at Kemmy Law Firm today. Let our family of lawyers help you recover the compensation you need. Call 844-334–4388 today to schedule your free consultation.

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When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.