New Oil Boom Causes Spike In Oilfield Accidents And On-the-Job Deaths
22 January 2014No Comments
As drilling in the United States increases to keep up with the new oil boom, oil and gas companies are hiring blue-collar workers at higher than average rates. In fact, the oil and gas industry added 23% more workers between 2009 and 2012, but this hiring spree doesn’t come without a price. In 2012, 138 workers in the oil and gas industries were killed on the job – an increase of more than 100% from 2009. In fact, the rate of workplace fatalities among oil and gas workers is currently close to eight times higher than the all-industry rate of 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 employees. If you have been the victim of an oilfield accident in Corpus Christi, or elsewhere in Texas, consult our reputable lawyers at Bandas Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our law firm is located in Corpus Christi, and we have years of experience protecting the rights of injured oilfield workers throughout Texas.
Inexperience, Exhaustion Leading to Worker Deaths
According to experts, the spike in oil and gas worker deaths may reflect the inexperience of the workforce, in addition to worker exhaustion and other factors. “During times of high demand like now, there are new workers brought into this industry, and these are workers that may not have relevant training and experience, “says Ryan Hill, head of the oil and gas extraction program at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “They didn’t grow up around the industry, especially in some of the newer oil fields.” In addition to inexperience, tough working conditions also add to the risks associated with the oil and gas industries. “Workers in this industry typically work 12- to 14-hour shifts for a week or two consecutively. The type of work that workers do often requires performing repetitive and physical labor.”
Oilfield Accident Fatalities at All-Time High
In early 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report indicating that oilfield accident deaths hit an all-time high in 2012, since the government began collecting that data in 2003. “Job gains in oil and gas and construction have come with more fatalities, and that is unacceptable,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. “No worker should lose their life for a paycheck.” However, when the energy sector rapidly expands because of a hiring binge, the risk of workplace fatalities also rises. In 2006, when the economy was strong, energy companies increased the workforce by about 9% and the rate of workplace fatalities subsequently rose nearly 28% to 125 for the year, a significant increase from 98 deaths the year before. A similar hiring surge is affecting the United States now, thanks to new technology like hydraulic fracturing, and the rate of on-the-job deaths is following suit.
Contact Our Oilfield Accident Lawyers Today
In an effort to curb the rate of oilfield accidents in Texas and throughout the United States, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is ramping up enforcement of federal regulations for the booming oil and gas industries. However, with so much money to be made in the energy sector, oil and gas companies are in a hurry and may be putting their workers at unnecessary risk of injury or death. If you have suffered injuries in a Texas oil rig accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal work accident, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Bandas Law Firm today for legal help. With our lawyers on your side, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and medical expenses.