Worker Fatalities On The Rise In Oil And Gas Industry
17 September 2013No Comments
According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, worker deaths in the oil and gas production industry reached a record high in 2012, with a total of 138 fatalities. This data supports previous statistics indicating a rise in workplace deaths among employees in the oil and gas extraction industry. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, for example, that from 2003 to 2010, the oil and gas extraction industry had a collective fatality rate seven times higher than that of all workers in the United States – 27.1 compared to 3.8 deaths per 100,000 workers. This sheds light on the risks associated with the oil and gas industry, and brings attention to the importance of worker safety. If you have been injured on the job in Corpus Christi or elsewhere in Texas, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers at Bandas Law Firm today to discuss your compensation options.
Employers Put Workers’ Lives at Risk
The Energy Information Administration reported last month that employment in the oil and natural gas industry increased by 40% from the beginning of 2007 through the end of 2012, compared to 1% for the total private sector during the same time period. Unfortunately, the oil and gas industry has a reputation for cutting corners and putting the lives of these workers at risk, illustrated by disasters like BP’s Texas City Refinery explosion and the BP Deepwater Horizon blast and oil spill. In response to the increase in oil and gas workplace deaths, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez issued a statement saying, “We can and must do better. Job gains in oil and gas construction have come with more fatalities, and that is unacceptable.”
Workplace Injuries, Deaths in Texas
With its strong presence in the oil and gas industry, Texas hasn’t escaped the rise in worker injury and death rates. Since 2009, at least 11 oilfield workers have lost their lives working for drilling companies in the Eagle Ford Shale counties in South Texas. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has completed 35 fatality investigations for the oil and gas industry in Texas since 2009, but the official report indicates that the total number of employee deaths would probably be higher if the agency’s recent investigations were open to the public. According to Michael Rivera, director for OSHA’s office in Corpus Christi, employers in Texas and throughout the United States often cut safety corners, putting the lives of their workers at unnecessary risk. “There are those who kind of hurry, maybe take a shortcut. Not to hurt or kill anybody. But time is money, right?”
Contact Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today…
If you have suffered serious workplace injuries in Texas, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal on-the-job accident, consult our knowledgeable attorneys at Bandas Law Firm as soon as possible. Our law firm is located in Corpus Christi, and our legal team has years of experience protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state of Texas. With our lawyers on your side, you can seek fair and timely reimbursement for your workplace injuries and protect yourself and your family from further harm.