At least 13 people are known to have been killed in work-related accidents on the Eagle Ford Shale play, but that number is expected to increase as information about fatal shale field accidents surface via OSHA reports. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates fatal oil and gas injuries but often their reports take months or even years to be completed and made public.
The typically rural areas that are encompassed by the Eagle Ford shale area also make it difficult to get accurate information about workplace safety and fatal workplace accidents in the area. But, as more attention is paid by the media to this area, more information is making its way to the public about the dangers – and the safety – of oil and gas fields in South Texas.
Injuries tend to serious if not fatal on the oil and gas fields throughout Texas. With injuries ranging from severe burns to serious broken bones from crushing incidents to fatal accidents, an oil field or a shale play is a dangerous place to work.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the oil and gas extraction industry suffers from a rate of worker deaths close to 27 for every 100 workers, or about 1 in 4. Motor vehicle accidents like truck accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale play and strikes by tools used on the oil and gas fields were the most common cause of fatal accidents in oil and gas industry. Explosions, crush or compression injuries and falls from heights are also common causes of fatal workplace injuries among oil and gas workers.
Source: My San Antonio, “How many workers have died in the Eagle Ford Shale?,” May 8, 2013