Texas oil field deaths soar
Even though Texas oil and gas fields have increasingly fueled economic activity in recent years, this boom has not been without sacrifice - particularly when it comes to the loss of human life. Indeed, according to a recent investigative report conducted by the Houston Chronicle, in 2012, 65 workers were killed in Texas oil and gas field accidents, a nearly 60 percent increase from just one year earlier. Even more astonishing is the fact that roughly 40 percent of the nation's 663 oil-field fatalities from 2007 to 2012 occurred in Texas alone.
Investigators involved in the recently released report spent an entire year pouring over 18,000 injury and illness claims, as well as examining Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) documents and public records. Interestingly, in addition to the statistics listed above, the investigation found that OSHA only investigated a mere 150 of the 18,000 oil-related injuries and illnesses in Texas during the last six years.
The report made note that this dismal investigation rate is primarily due to the fact that the federal agency is only required to investigate accidents that occur at onshore oil and gas drilling worksites if they result in a worker's death or at least three workers hospitalized.
Injuries associated with Texas oil field accidents
While death is certainly the most severe consequence of oil and gas field accidents, workers in this industry may be susceptible to several other serious injuries. For instance, the recent oil-fields report discovered that, in 2012, 79 Texas workers lost limbs, 92 suffered burns, 82 were crushed and 675 broke bones while working in the fields - although these were merely the injuries actually reported to insurance carriers.
Often times, these injuries can be attributed to poorly maintained equipment or ignored safety rules. Indeed, the recent report also found that when OSHA actually investigated an oil field accident, 78 percent were related to safety violations - meaning many accidents could have been avoided with safer equipment or procedures.
For victims of these types of work-related accidents, it is important to remember that various remedies may be available to help pay for current and future medical expenses. Accordingly, if you have been injured while working on a Texas oil field - or if a loved one died while working in the industry - it is important to contact an experienced oil field accident attorney. A skilled attorney can help investigate the cause of your accident and assist in ensuring you seek all the compensation you may be entitled.
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