From run away freight trains to exploding improperly scented propane, the
increased production of oil
Bakken oil field region has not come without cost. According to the
New York Times domestic oil production has surged by 50% over the last 5 years. Reaching
as high as 7.5 million barrels per day in 2013.
This is a very rapid and vast expansion in what is one of the most dangerous
industries to work in. According to the
Wall Street Journal, between October 2014 and February 2015 there were 38 deaths nationally
in the oil production industry, with 8 of those occurring in the Bakken
According to estimates more than 9,000 injury claims were filed between
2009 and 2013, having to do with oil and gas industry in North Dakota. The
Billings Gazette reports that half of workplace related deaths in North Dakota, beginning
in 2010, occurred in the oil fields.
This is especially concerning when you consider that burns sustained in
an oil field are generally 3-4 times bigger than the average burn patient
and can cost over $1 million dollars to treat. Then consider the fact
that there are no burn centers in North Dakota, where a significant portion
of the Bakken oil formation.
In spite of this increase in injuries and fatalities oil companies have
begun instituting cost cutting measures, because of the drop in crude
prices. These measures include hiring less experienced workers at lower
pay and cutting back the amount of workers performing a given job. So
despite a rapid and underdeveloped expansion, oil companies have started
paying less to fewer, less qualified employees to guard their profit margins.
This is the perfect storm for work related injuries in an already dangerous
profession. If you or someone you know has been affected by an injury
at the Bakken formation please
contact us. We would be happy to help.