Drilling is an inherently dangerous undertaking in which the fatality rate is nearly five times that of all industries in the United States combined as of 2014, the last year such rates on oil and gas extraction were published by the government. Production pressures and the temptation to cut corners intensifies during boom times, putting workers at greater risk of injury or death.
From 2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers died in the oil-and-gas drilling industry and related fields, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s almost exactly the number of U.S. troops who were killed in Afghanistan during the same period.
Some Oilfield Companies Just Don’t Care if you get Injured
From 2008 through October 25, 2018, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited companies in the extraction industry for 10,873 violations. Of these violations, 64 percent of which were deemed “serious,” meaning they were hazards likely to result in “death or serious harm”, another 3 percent were classified as “repeated” and/or “willful”. “Repeated” means the company has been cited for the hazard in the past and “willful” indicates “purposeful disregard” for the law or “plain indifference to employee safety.”
Despite the Dangers, The Oil Industry Continues to Grow
The number of deaths, injuries, and illnesses in the exploration and production fields of the oil and gas industry is increasing. According to figures from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes, the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, which accounts for more than half the nation’s drilling rigs, is where these problems are centered.
As the oil industry grows in Texas, workers line up to fill occupations in both drilling operations and support activities. Since the start of the decade, 50,000 positions have been created, meaning that 50,000 more workers are at risk of injury, illness, and death.
We’re Here for You
For more than 30 years, Richard Schechter and his experienced legal team at The Law Office of Richard Schechter, P.C. have represented numerous workers and their families for oilfield related injuries and deaths. They not only understand the operation of rigs but can also navigate the various laws that apply depending on where or when an accident occurred.
Call the Law Office of Richard Schechter today at 1-800-734-5612 to get your free legal consultation, with no obligation. We look forward to working with you.