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Oil and Gas Extraction Deaths on the Rise

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Staff Writer4 years ago

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims 138 workers involved with oil and gas extraction died last year.

Oil and Gas Accidents in Eagle Ford Shale- Statistics

“There are those who kind of hurry, maybe take a shortcut. Not to hurt or kill anybody. But time is money, right?” – Michael Rivera, area director for the OSHA Corpus Christi Office as published by the Ring of Fire Radio.

  • Since 2009, at least eleven people working for drilling companies in the oilfields of Southern Texas’s Eagle Ford Counties have lost their lives.

    • A report by Ring of Fire Radio claims that these employees’ deaths could have been prevented according to an investigation run by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Business does not appear to be slowing down though- permits for drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale region skyrocketed last year to over 4,100. Since 2009, OSHA has done at least thirty-five fatality investigations in the state of Texas specific to the oil and gas industry. However, it is likely this is not the total number of employee deaths as OSHA’s recent inquiries are not public information.
  • Another reason this number could be potentially misleading is that OSHA does not take into account transportation accidents on public roads, even if they happen while on the job.

    • The Houston Chronicle states that forty oil and gas employees were killed in accidents on Texas roads between 2009 and 2011.
  • One conclusion reached by OSHA's Corpus Christi office is that too many people are hurrying and not takin the time necessary to make sure a job is done carefully.  

OSHA Drops Fines for Oil and Gas Extraction Accidents

  • A potential measure OSHA can take is levying fines at the companies involved.
  • But OSHA has a history of cutting these fines.
  • For example, the average fine for the eleven deaths in the Eagle Ford Shale counties was originally $10,900, but OSHA cut it down to $6,100.
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Thomas J. Henry fight to protect the rights of workplace injury victims. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. The goal of our offices is to not only protect your rights, but to send a message so the same tragedy does not happen again. We represent clients/victims all over the country.


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