Texas workers at risk of oilfield workplace accidents

As drilling and fracking become more common throughout Texas towns, an increase in oilfield accidents has also been occurring. During the period between 2008 to 2012, more than 200 people died during oilfield workplace accidents in Texas alone. Add that to increasing figures in Pennsylvania and North Dakota, and the oil industry certainly has some answering to do for its poor safety management practices.

Multiple government agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are calling for stringent guidelines to quash the rising fatality rate across the nation. Refineries and chemical plants are already subject to certain rules, but on-site drilling rigs are exempted from many of those protocols. Now, advocates and those who have lost loved ones to fatal workplace accidents at oil rigs are calling for a comprehensive change.

In all, about 550 people died nationwide during the period from 2008 to 2012, according to recent statistics. Texas showed a significant increase of 7.4 percent, while oil boom states like North Dakota and Pennsylvania experienced increases of 300 percent or more. In Wyoming, however, deaths dropped by an impressive 45 percent. Experts say that the noteworthy drop occurred because Wyoming is the only one of eight energy-producing states to implement comprehensive measures to tackle workplace deaths. That means that fewer workers were killed on the job, leading to a potential drop in workers' compensation or personal injury lawsuits.

Some Texas safety advocates say that the southern state could take a page out of Wyoming's playbook. That state hired several state-funded OSHA inspectors, along with an epidemiologist, to help curb workplace accidents. The creation of statewide safety organizations and legislative reforms did not hurt, either. Texas lawmakers could make a difference in the number of oilfield deaths by adopting some of these provisions, which could ultimately change the state's safety culture for the better.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Oil field deaths rose sharply from 2008 to 2012" Lise Olsen, Apr. 27, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories