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Drilling Boom, Deadly Legacy

The boom that has brought prosperity to Texas has left a trail of death and devastation for many of the more 100,000 workers in oil and gas exploration jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, in 2012 the death toll peaked at 65,000, which was a 10 year high and nearly 60 percent more than 2011. For 22 years the federal government has failed to implement safety standards and procedures for onshore oil and gas drilling, even as offshore accidents have been on the rise. Abraham Watkins is currently handling cases involving oil field explosions.

At onshore oil and gas drilling sites, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is required to investigate only those accidents that kill workers or that cause three or more people to be hospitalized. This translates to only about 150 of 18,000 work related injuries and illnesses in the last six years in Texas. When OSHA investigated it found safety violations in 78 percent of Texas accidents and many could have been prevented with safer procedures and equipment. Outdated equipment is a reason for these accidents as well.

Work in Texas oil and gas fields involves long hours, extreme weather, and physical contact with dangerous machinery under the best circumstances. The dearth of safety standards, the lack of government inspections, and shoddy practices have left a toll of badly injured workers. In 2012, 79 lost limbs, 82 were crushed, 92 suffered burns, and 675 broke bones in work related accidents reported to insurance carriers.

Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.


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