According to a recent study published in the Centers For Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the oil and gas industry is seven times more deadly than other industries in the United States. According to the report, as many as 16 oil and gas workers are fatally injured while on the job each year.
In all U.S. industries, the average worker fatality rate is about four workers for every 100,000 workers. In the oil and gas industry, about 27 workers are fatally injured for every 100,000 employed in the oil fields or natural gas regions. The number of deaths occurring in oil and gas extraction include both on-shore and off-shore sites.
Oil and gas extraction includes:
- Operators – these companies control regions covered under an oil and/or gas lease
- Drillers – these companies create new wells
- Servicers – these companies provide any remaining support required for the producing oil and gas wells
Getting to and from the jobsite appears to be the most dangerous activity in oil and gas extraction. Over half of the 128 workers killed over the seven years study died in transportation accidents. Dangerous equipment, fires, explosions and exposure rounded out the remaining serious threats to oil and gas worker safety.
Oil and gas extraction activities in the Gulf of Mexico were by far the riskiest locations for worker safety. All but one of the people who were fatally injured while working for an oil and gas site were working in the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: Occupational Health & Safety, “Oil & Gas Extraction’s Fatality Rate 7 Times Higher Than U.S. Average,” April 26, 2013