For more than a decade, the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced exceptional growth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the overall workforce doubled in size and the number of drilling rigs increased by 71 percent from 2003 to 2013.
Unfortunately, these increases correlate with a substantial increase of oil field and onshore drilling accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Between 2007 and 2012, 663 workers have been killed in the U.S. in oil-related accidents.
A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the fatality rate for workers in the oil and gas industry is seven times higher than other industries combined, and injuries are significantly commonplace. In Texas, the oil industry kills more of its workers than any other.
Common causes of death in onshore oil and gas drilling industry include:
- Struck by equipment or tools
- Run over or crushed by vehicles
- Explosion or fire
- Derrick collapse
- Struck by pressure
Based on an investigation conducted by the Houston Chronicle, the federal government isn’t doing anything to make the industry any safer. Although safety regulations and inspections for offshore rigs have greatly improved after accidents such as 2010’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, there are no new worker safety measures for onshore oil fields.
Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fails to investigate a vast majority of accidents, only those that involve fatalities or result in three or more inpatient hospitalizations. In total, that is 150 out of 18,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in Texas from 2007-2014. This means that 78 percent of those involved safety violations could have been prevented with proper safety precautions.
The link between the rise of more oil field workers and deaths can be attributed to new, inexperienced workers entering the industry due to booming production. During times of high demand, many new workers may not have relevant training and experience.
If you are in need of reliable legal guidance with an oil field accident case, you have come to the right place. For more than a decade, The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC has been successfully representing injured individuals across Texas. We are ready and willing to help you cope with your injuries too.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.