Drilling for oil is an inherently dangerous job, with a fatality rate nearly five times that of all industries in the United States combined. As the oil and gas industry continues rising, the number of people employed increase-along with production pressures and the temptation to cut corners. In Texas, oil and gas firms employ over 2,400 more people than they did a year ago, putting more people in the path of explosive gases, dangerous machinery, and cancer-causing chemicals.
In August 2008, Lisa Spearman was an employee of Royal Caribbean International. She was a marketing and revenue manager on the cruise line's Voyager of the Seas.
A 19-year-old female construction worker, Destiny Rodriguez, was killed Monday in a work-related accident in West Bexar County. The fatality was reported around 10:30 a.m. at a construction site in the 13700 block of Portranco Road, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.
The Permian Basin has proven itself to be a hot spot for oil and gas in the United States. It is reported that there has been a recent burst of oil and gas deals concentrated in West Texas' Permian Basin. This has occurred despite the downturn, and now slowly rising, prices in oil per barrel. The newly stricken deals have really emphasized how the Permian Basin is a top-shelf basin. Experts say that not only is the Permian Basin's drilling costs among the cheapest in the United States, the layers of shale drilling areas go significantly deeper underground than in other regions. With that being said, drillers have put into operation, several additional drilling rigs. As of today's date, there are more than 265 drilling rigs in the Permian Basin, accounting for more than 50% of the country's active drilling rigs.
Firm partner Benny Agosto, Jr. filed a new lawsuit on behalf of the wife and family of a worker who lost his life in an excavation/trench collapse earlier this year. The man's employer has been sued for gross negligence in the lawsuit filed by Mr. Agosto.
On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, a contractor was fatally injured at the Exxon Mobil plant in Beaumont, Texas. Emergency officials were called to the plant around 12:30 a.m. The refinery, chemicals plant, and lube plant are located on approximately 2,400 acres near downtown Beaumont. The refinery processes approximately 365,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces 2.8 billion gallons of gasoline annually and employs approximately 2,000 people and more than 1,000 contractors.
On April 19, 2016, at around 9:00 a.m., a tugboat with a crew of five people onboard became submerged underwater on the San Jacinto River. At the time of the incident, the tugboat was located about a half mile south of the I-10 bridge, just outside of Houston, Texas. Four crew members were rescued from the river, but a fifth crew member was unaccounted for. Traffic was restricted along a stretch of the San Jacinto River during the search, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office along with the United States Coast Guard recovered the fifth crewmember's body a short time later. The tugboat is identified as the Ricky J Leboeuf. A Coast Guard spokesman says salvage crews were on the scene Wednesday to try to locate and raise the tugboat.
A Texas truck driver was killed in a fiery crash outside Temple after, according to investigators;, the driver was blinded by the setting sun on Highway 36. The driver collided with safety barriers before hitting a guardrail. The truck caught fire and the driver, 69-year-old Lee Meeks of Pampa, was unable to escape from the cab of the semi-truck; he died at the scene of the fatal truck accident.
Across the nation, fatal accidents in the workplace are on the decline, but that pattern has not carried over in the state of Texas. A recent article in the Dallas News noted that workplace deaths remain "stubbornly high in Texas."
Contrary to popular belief, not all oil and gas pipelines are strictly regulated. In fact, pipelines classified as "gathering" pipelines, which transport gas from well fields to transmission lines, often face less strict safety rules. And depending on how rural their location, such pipelines might not be regulated at all.