Recent research has shown that overall workplace accident injuries and fatalities, across all industries, have seen a steady decline over the past several years. There is one exception to this positive trend, however, and that exception is the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately for the workers in that industry, it continues to see accident injuries and fatalities climb.
In fact, according to an analysis of five years of fatal accident data from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigations, Texas oil and gas workers suffered more on-the-job fatalities than any other profession. During the period from 2007-2011, 197 oil workers died, which is an average if 39 every year. OSHA took a look at 84 of those cases, but a large number died in traffic accidents while on the job, which OSHA doesn’t look into.
While that may seem like a tiny number, given that there were as many as 110,000 to 140,000 oil industry workers in the state during that period, the death rate for the oil and gas industry is still far higher than such notoriously hazardous industries as agriculture and construction. Some smaller categories, like roofing and logging, have higher reported fatality rates, but they also feature a much smaller number of workers. .
There are many reasons that the oil and gas industry is trending in a negative direction with regard to workplace safety. Generally, they all boil down to a lack of focus on safety. According to the same article, “Government safety inspectors found many oil field victims were fatally injured by flying metal or got caught in equipment, including rotary drilling machines. Others were electrocuted, fell or inhaled poisonous gases.” All of these types of deaths are avoidable with proper safety measures in place and good training. Instead, profits and speed are superior to safety in the oil patch. With that mentality, people will continue to suffer horrific long term injuries and be killed in the oil patch. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an oil field accident, call the Oil Field Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.