The oil and gas industry is currently booming in Texas. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is focused on it. According to OSHA officials, the industry is a dangerous one that has caused many workers to suffer injuries. Data from OSHA show that more than 800 oil and gas extraction workers lost their lives between 2003 and 2010 while on the job. This gave the industry a fatality rate that was seven times higher than the rate for all industries in the U.S. combined.
Late last month, a man lost his life while working on a rig outside of Cuero, Texas, that belonged to Helmerich & Payne Inc. This death in the workplace caused federal investigators to take a deeper look at the company. Just five days after this death, a different well belonging to the same company was the site for an incident involving a broken crane and the hospitalization of two men working at the well, which was located north of Yorktown, Texas.
Throughout the nation, federal records show that H&P Inc. has been inspected 53 times over the past three years. A little more than a third of those occurred in Texas, resulting in 25 violations. At least four of those inspections have occurred this year in cities including Texon, Pecos, Livingston and Midland. But H&P Inc. is not the only company that has been investigated by OSHA. Several others have found themselves under the microscope of the federal regulator and many have resulted in violations. One such company is Patterson Drilling, an operation that has seen 68 inspections throughout the nation since 2010. Again, more than a third of those have happened in Texas and five violations have been reported in the state.
Apparently, the oil and gas industry is a dangerous one to be in. Though the nature of the work is difficult and can be hazardous, the companies in charge of well operations should be more in tune with the regulations provided by OSHA. If this was the case, less injuries and fatalities may happen. If you have been injured on the job, speak with a lawyer about your case to determine what further steps could and should be taken.
Source: Victoria Advocate, "Oilfield death prompts federal inspection of drilling company" Melissa Crowe, Jul. 13, 2013