A worker at a West Texas oilfield was catastrophically injured when he was struck by a tanker. During the process of loading the tanker onto a trailer, the tanker rolled, striking Thomas Stewart and causing a serious head injury in the workplace accident.
Thrity-eight-year old Stewart lived in Smithville but had, perhaps temporarily, relocated to Buffalo Gap to work for Abilene Pipe. The fatal workplace accident took Stewart’s life at the oilfield; first responders reported that he died at the scene.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 120 fatal oil and gas workplace accidents in 2008, the most recent year for which the Bureau has made statistics available. Texas reported the highest number of fatal oil and gas field workplace fatalities with 41, followed by Oklahoma and Louisiana.
The leading cause of fatal workplace injuries were transportation-related accidents, with the majority of these types of workplace accidents occurring on highways. Behind those were fatal incidents, like the one that occurred recently in Abilene, involving an object, equipment or machinery striking a worker.
Fatal injuries aside, the oil and gas industry accounts for a large number of serious workplace injuries. In 2007, there were approximately 4,200 cases of workplace injuries and illnesses associated with oil and gas fields. The most common injury occurring at an oil and gas site that does not result in death is a fracture or broken bone. Oil and gas workers who suffer a workplace injury are typically out of work for 30 days for recovery; the median time off work for a workplace injury in other industries is seven days.
Source: The Houston Chronicle, “Worker dies in tank accident at Abilene company,” January 8, 2013