New Study Aims to Reduce Injuries in the Onshore Oil and Gas Industry
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is preparing to launch an unprecedented study designed to improve safety in the oil and gas industry.
Scientists from the NIOSH, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will send questionnaires to over 600 onshore oil and gas workers in North Dakota, Texas, and one unnamed state. From these questionnaires, the NIOSH hopes to determine the factors leading to motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and illnesses among onshore oil and gas workers.
Oil and gas work is one of the most dangerous professions in the country. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) claims 823 oil and gas workers were killed on the job between 2003 and 2010. OSHA found that the fatality rate among on-site oil and gas workers is seven times greater than the general U.S. industry and 2.5 times higher than the construction industry.
The most common causes of fatalities in oil and gas workers include vehicle accidents, explosions and fires, falls, and struck-by, caught-in and caught-between incidents. The study will ask oil and gas workers what on-the-job injuries they have suffered, their level of training, and whether they were offered bonuses for not reporting injuries or incidents.
Officials hope this study will bring much-needed change to onshore oil and gas operations. The oil and gas industry faces little oversight when it comes to safety. For example, OSHA does not make routine inspections of oil and gas fields and only performs investigations when a worker complains or if someone dies on site.
Some unscrupulous employers take advantage of OSHA’s hands-off approach by cutting corners and pushing employees to work excessive hours on little sleep. Needless to say, this is recipe for a disaster. If you are injured in an oilfield accident, it’s critical that you take immediate steps to protect your rights.
Our trial lawyers routinely represent injured oil and gas workers and work tirelessly to hold companies accountable for ignoring safety. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an oilfield accident, contact the trial lawyers at Zehl & Associates.