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Oil and gas industry can prove dangerous for many workers

Oil and gas workers are the backbone of many regions all over Pennsylvania, as evidenced by the industry boom that has taken place over the past few years. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a number of these workers have also seen fatality rates increase along with rising job prospects.

While the oil and gas industry is often considered to be far safer for workers when compared to privately run work sites, recent years have proven to be particularly deadly in terms of fatalities within the workplace. From 2011 through 2012, oil and gas workers faced the staggering rate of one worker death for every three days on the job. Accidents deemed nonfatal were also up, breaking a five-year industry low to reach 2,600 injured workers in 2012.

Upholding the culture of safety within the oil and gas industry is extremely important according to officials, which is why so many are investing in methods aimed at spreading awareness regarding safety standards. Taking a page from the mining industry, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends industry-wide stand downs. These are events where employees gather to go over pertinent safety info, such as best practices for creating a secure workplace for all oil and gas employees.

Workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania most often result from transportation accidents and heavy equipment operation, two common factors within the oil and gas industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that of the 175 total worker fatalities recorded in 2014, 29 were related to objects and equipment used in the workplace, while 75 involved work vehicles. Although Pennsylvania workplace fatalities were slightly lower than in previous years, across the nation deaths in the workplace rose overall, with almost 5,000 deaths recorded for 2014.


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