The oil fields of Montana and other states attract many young people. They're
eager to make relatively high pay in exchange for the potential danger
inherent in these extraction jobs. To promote worker safety, the U.S.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) analyzed the
oil industry's fatalities in 2013. It received its data from the requirement for employers to report
either fatalities or any hospitalization of three or more employees within
eight hours. Such reports typically generated OSHA inspections.
The most common cause of fatalities was being struck by objects such as
falling or moving pipes and drilling equipment. Even small tools and debris
can prove dangerous if dropped from elevated areas. The second most common
causes were equally divided among transportation incidents and falls.
Where vehicles were involved, deaths were caused by being run over by
trailers or other vehicles, being hit by a front-end loader, and not wearing
a seat belt. For falls, the lack of guardrails and either missing or improper
fall protection were the main culprits.
Both explosions and “caught in” incidents ranked third equally.
The causes of explosions included ignition of vapors from crude oil or
natural gas, electrical equipment that was not well-maintained, or welding/cutting
near materials that were combustible. The “caught in” incidents
refers to individuals being crushed between machinery, such as power tongs,
because machine guarding was either improper or missing.
If you are involved in any such
oil field accidents, injuries, or fatalities, or have reason to believe that your employer
is ignoring OSHA and other safety standards, please
contact us. We're here to protect you.