The oil boom in Texas, North Dakota, and elsewhere has propelled the United States as the world’s leading energy provider. Unfortunately, the oil field industry is also responsible for many deaths of oil field workers.
In an effort to improve safety, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is set to examine the contributing factors which cause accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the oil fields. Starting next year, scientists from the Institute will distribute questionnaires to 500 oilfield workers in Texas, North Dakota, and one other state.
According to an investigation by Reveal, major oil companies avoid liability for workers’ deaths in the Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota. In the Bakken, someone dies about every six weeks from an accident on average – at least 74 fatalities since 2006. However, the number of deaths is most likely higher since federal regulators do not have a systematic way to keep track of oil and gas-related deaths. NIOSH plans to increase enforcement against major oil corporations and analyze “speed bonuses” in the Bakken, which some critics believe undermine safety.
As part of the new study, workers will be asked the following:
- The hours they work
- Whether they wear protective gear
- Whether employers often provide written safety regulations and make their employees aware of their right to stop a job when they encounter a potential safety hazard
For more information, contact our San Antonio oil field accidents lawyer at The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC today.