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Boom in oil and gas industry sparks fatal accidents

While some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, every worker, regardless of the industry, has the right to expect a reasonably clean and safe work environment. Sadly, despite all of the effort and work that has been put into increasing workplace safety in the U.S. over the last 100 years, the number of fatal accidents is still far too high. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 there were more than 4,000 fatal workplace injuries, with many more nonfatal workplace illnesses and injuries.

Over recent years unconventional and innovative extraction methods resulted in a major oil and gas boom throughout the United States. From Pennsylvania to North Dakota and Texas the oil boom has resulted in a stream of important and much needed high paying jobs. Unfortunately, while most of the attention has been paid to environmental disputes and a surge in employment not enough has been said about the dangerous nature of the industry, in the spike in workplace injuries and fatalities.

According to data provided by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration workplace fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry have reached record highs in recent years. In fact, in 2012 alone the number of workplace fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry reached 138. According to OSHA, that is almost a 25 percent increase in the number of workplace fatalities in the industry than in 2011 and it is a record for the number of workplace fatalities in the industry for any year.

A fatal accident in the workplace is a major event for the family and friends of the victim. In addition to the pain and suffering that the loss of a loved one can cause, losing a member of the family can also have serious financial consequences for those left behind. And, while nothing can be done to bring back a loved one after a fatal accident, a wrongful death attorney can help the family members of the deceased to seek the financial damages to which they are entitled.

Source: Oil & Gas Industry, "The dark side of the boom," Warren R. True, April 7, 2014

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