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OSHA Finds that Workplace Fatalities at Texas Oil and Gas Fields were PreventableFriday, February 22nd, 2013
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did a recent investigation of accidents which took place at Texas oil and natural gas fields. Their findings show that there were 11 deaths and possibly more which took place in Texas oilfields that could have been prevented, had companies practiced safety protocols.
In each fatal accident at Texas oilfields, OSHA found violations of safety guidelines.
In the past decade, one out of five workplace-related deaths in South Texas which were investigated by OSHA took place at an oil or gas company. Employment in the natural and oil gas fields typically generates large paychecks because of the difficulty and danger involved in doing the work.
There were 40 oil and gas worker fatalities between 2009 and 2011 which were not investigated by OSHA because those workers all died as a result of traffic accidents on public roads in Texas. OSHA focuses on safety in the workplace and does not get involved with traffic accidents if they take place outside of places of employment.
Work-related deaths which took place at Eagle Ford Shale oilfields since 2009 were each found to have been preventable, and the company was penalized $6,100 for each incident.
Area director for OSHA’s Corpus Christi office Michael Rivera said that he doesn’t believe the fines are deterrents as much as the OSHA violations themselves.