A Colorado-based oil company has come under investigation after one of its workers died when a fitting blew off a rig and struck him in the head. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials fined the same oil company $65,000 in 2012 for five serious safety violations, but ended up reaching a settlement after the company paid $27,000 in fines. OSHA will have six months to complete its investigation and decide if more fines will be levied against the company.
With recent oil rig related accidents picking up attention in the media, questions have been raised about whether or not oil companies are doing enough to keep their employees safe.
How Safe Are Oil Workers From Harm?
OSHA statistics paint a grim picture for oil and gas workers, noting that between 2003 and 2010, 823 workers were killed on the job. Causes of death included vehicle accidents, being stuck between machinery, fires and explosions, falls and chemical exposures. Oil and gas jobs employ less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce, but account for more deaths from fires and explosions than any other industry.
In 2009, a British oil company operating in the U.S. racked up 439 willful violations and had to pay more than 13 million dollars. The same company was fined $21 million after a 2005 refinery explosion killed 15 workers. Not all oil companies are made equal however. Other major oil and gas companies that include Sunoco, Conoco-Phillips and Exxon had very few OSHA violations.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured?
Industrial accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, loss of limbs, chemical exposure and death. Monetary costs and emotional loss can be devastating and life altering. It is important that companies who violate safety and health regulations be held accountable for their actions, so if you have been injured in a work-place accident, reach out to our personal injury attorneys at Metier Law Firm, and we will help you move forward.
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Did You Know?: OSHA requires workers to have a safe workplace and demands that employers provide employees with working conditions free of known dangers.