Tragic Death of Halliburton Employee Highlights Danger to Oil and Gas Workers
Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) December 18, 2014 – Recently, one man was killed and two were injured when a frozen high-pressure water line exploded at a hydraulic fracking site near Mead, CO.
Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have begun an investigation. An OSHA spokesperson noted that the oil and gas industry is notoriously dangerous for workers. According to records from the U.S. Department of Labor, the oil and gas sector has had more fatalities in recent years than other sectors traditionally considered dangerous, including manufacturing, construction and agriculture.
“The workers were out there trying to solve a problem in unusual conditions,” remarked David Lietz, an industrial accident attorney, referring to the extreme cold that the area had been experiencing. “The question is whether the company that owns the rig did everything in its power to ensure the workers’ safety under those extreme conditions.”
While no one has died previously while working at the site of the accident, OSHA investigators are trying to find out if the accident could have been prevented.
The domestic energy industry is booming, and many worry that safety is not a top concern for companies that are rushing to grab profits. The Houston Chronicle reported that OSHA investigators found safety violations in 78 percent of the oil and gas accidents it investigated in 2012. A recent OSHA report blasted the federal government for failing to implement adequate oil safety standards for drilling operations.
“Hopefully, this death will help call attention to what is clearly an ongoing crisis in worker safety in this industry,” said Lietz. “These companies have a responsibility to keep workers safe, and they should not need OSHA or federal regulations in order to take that responsibility seriously.”