Offshore InjuryBlog

Oil & Gas Industry's Collective Fatality Rate is 7x Higher Than Average

It is common knowledge that the oil and gas industry is high-risk. Large equipment and volatile materials make accidents a very real possibility. When offshore accidents do happen, they are often catastrophic. In addition, just getting to offshore rigs can be dangerous for oil and gas industry workers. A large percentage of worker fatalities occur from helicopter crashes and other transportation problems. As the fatality rate for this industry soars above the rest, research and new programs are being utilized for the improvement of worker safety in the oil and gas industry.

CDC Oil & Gas Industry Fatality Report

In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a report that looked into the dangers of the oil & gas industry from 2003 to 2010. In this article, it was found that the oil & gas industry (onshore & offshore) has a collective fatality rate seven times higher than all U.S. workers. In fact, from 2003 to 2010, the oil & gas industry had 27.1 deaths per 100,000 workers versus the average of 3.8 per 100,000.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report:

  • 51% of fatalities involved transportation events with 75% of those involving aircraft
  • 16% of fatalities occurred because of contact with objects / equipment
  • 13% of fatalities involved exposure to harmful and toxic substances

While there are many different offshore occupations that can prove to be fatal, it was found that the most dangerous involved workers in the oil & gas extraction industry, with 68% of the reported offshore fatalities involving that industry during the timeframe of the study.

Of those incidents in the oil & gas extraction industry:

  • 49% involved employers hired by well servicing companies
  • 30% involved employers hired by drilling contractors
  • 21% involved employers hired by oil & gas operators

While most people are aware of the dangers of working aboard oil rigs & platforms, few people recognize just how serious the danger is until tragedies like the Deepwater Horizon incident occur. While incidents such as explosions attract major media attention, they are far from the main source of fatalities in offshore operations.

Decreasing Fatality Rate

After the findings of the CDC’s study was released, renewed efforts and investments were made in training videos that targeted risk factors and high-risk operations. In the past decade, the fatality rates for the industry saw a significant decrease; however, this is in part due to the increasing number of workers. In 2014, the NIOSH Oil & Gas Safety & Health Program developed a program that collects data on fatalities in U.S. offshore oil and gas industry. This database, FOG, was created with the goal of increasing the availability of information about the circumstances and variables that led to a fatality. In turn, this will help employers develop better training and safety programs for employees in especially high-risk environments.

Houston Offshore Injury Attorneys: Leaders in Maritime Law

Due to the dangerous nature of working offshore, many fatalities occur during everyday activities. At Arnold & Itkin, we have seen how situations such as this can occur. From representing more than a third of the crew members injured in the Deepwater Horizon to helping individuals hurt aboard offshore rigs, platforms, barges, and other vessels, we have shown we are advocates for injured workers. Take a look at the case victories we have obtained for our clients throughout the years!

To discuss your case in a free case evaluation with our firm, contact us today!

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