From 2005 to 2009, the fatal
oil field accident rate for oil and gas industry workers was approximately 700 percent higher
than the general fatality rate among workers and 250 percent higher than
the fatality rate specifically in the construction industry, according
to an article in the
Upcoming Oil Field Safety Study
Now, federal health officials working out of the Denver office of the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) intend to launch
a new oil field safety study in 2016. They will head out to training centers,
work camps, construction yards, well sites and even community centers
in North Dakota and Texas to distribute 500 questionnaires designed to
gather data regarding workplace safety issues in the oil patch.
Seeking Specifics About Oil Field Accidents
NIOSH wants first-hand information about the specific dangers that the
workers face on a daily basis. Officials say that industry safety information
has been difficult to assemble because there is no single group or organization
representing oil and gas workers. One of the areas that the Institute
will focus on is the frequency of motor vehicle accidents in the oil patch.
Researchers also want to gather data regarding cell phone use, seat belt
use and access to driver training programs.
Another focal point of the study is tank gauging, which is the process
of measuring the level of oil levels and oil byproducts in tanks. According
to the Denver Post article, nine workers have died in the past half-decade
while involved in tank gauging activities.
In general, the high incidence of oilfield accidents may be related in
part to the difficult working conditions that include long hours, hostile
weather and the use of dangerous equipment. Hopefully, the 2016 NIOSH
study will provide insights that will promote oil field safety in the future.
Our firm assists Bakken workers who experience oil field accidents. To
learn more, or to arrange for a complimentary consultation, please