The dangers of pipeline work

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Every industry has its hazards, but the oil and gas industry seems fraught with dangers. According to research, 78 percent of all mining fatalities were in the oil and gas extraction industry in 2012. This means that a workplace accident is not uncommon and could mean a lot of workers operate under the threat of possible injury every day. Houston readers may be interested to learn how the industry is trying to emphasize safety at the workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently held a national "Stand Down," a period of time where all companies in the industry suspend work and spend that time educating their workers on safe practices while doing their jobs. The program has been in effect for the entire year, with the intended goal of reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in the oil and gas industry.

When looking at the statistics, it is obvious that the program is needed. In the last four years, accidents have increased, and the number of fatal injuries has doubled, reaching their highest rate in a decade. So, it is important for workers to be trained in safety, that the companies thoroughly plan their projects, and the workers need to be included in those plans.

Although the industry has the highest fatality rate in the mining and extraction industries, the total number of accidents is decreasing. In 2005, there were 720 accidents, while in 2012, there were 569 accidents. So, it seems that the extra emphasis on safety seems to be paying off.

But this still means almost 600 people suffered an injury or were killed doing their jobs. For those people, compensation for their injuries is only fair. Anyone who has been injured in a work-related accident has the right to seek relief from medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, as well as other damages. An experienced legal profession can help anyone who chooses to seek relief determine exactly what rights they have.

State Impact, "Looking at Pipeline Safety After the Chevron Gas Line Explosion" Terrence Henry, Nov. 15, 2013

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