The answer is too often. Accidents involving oil and gas are eight times as likely to occur as other accidents on a job site. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2002 to 2007, almost 600 fatalities occurred in the industry. In 2008 alone, there were another 120 deaths in the oil and gas extraction field.
Unfortunately, studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found Texas had the most fatal injuries in the oil and gas industry from 2003 to 2006, with the fatality rate being as high as 38 percent. In fact, from 2004 to 2008, fatal injuries in the extraction business increased by 21 percent in Texas.
As for sheer probability, the CDC found that the industry had a fatality rate of 30.5 per 100,000 workers. The two most common fatal injuries (accounting for almost half) were highway motor-vehicle crashes and employees being struck by equipment. Other events such as fires,explosions, and falls from one level to another made up another 23 percent of deaths. Additionally, smaller companies with less than 10 employees accounted for one fourth of the fatalities.
A recent National Wildlife Foundation report concluded that the BP Deepwater Horizon spill was part of a pattern in the industry of placing profit ahead of local economies and community welfare. The report also concludes that oil and gas companies make more than enough revenue to implement proper safety measures and lower the number of accidents on the job.
If one of your loved ones has been killed while working for an oil and gas company, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Kyle Law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our San Marcos wrongful death attorneys.