The oil and gas industry is booming across the U.S., particularly in states like Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Texas produces over 1/3 of the country’s oil, giving a boost to local economies and providing thousands of jobs. However, the dangerous machinery and harsh conditions of the job create risks for workers than can lead to injuries and even death when accidents occur. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the fatality rate of oil and gas extraction workers from 2003 to 2010 was seven times higher than the rate of all other industries.
Reality shows like Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch and Shipping Wars give us a glimpse into the perils of some careers. However in 2012, 4,383 work fatalities occurred according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Some jobs and workplaces are inherently hazardous and expose workers to an unnecessary amount of dangers. Jobs that use heavy machinery, hazardous material, require excessive amounts of travel or work in treacherous terrain have a higher incidence of injury and death than others.
Preventable workplace accidents still occur far too frequently, when simple safety measures could have saved the day. Workers are entitled to a safe workplace that does not pose a risk of serious harm. Under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) workers can ask OSHA to inspect their workplaces, and receive information and training about hazards, ways to prevent harm and applicable OSHA standards.