Friday, October 31, 2008

US Oilfield Deaths Have Risen Sharpley

I look through job boards all the time and came across several websites offering jobs in the oil and gas industry. One had the following opening paragraph -

Imagine, within the next two short weeks we could potentially get you working in an oil industry position paying upwards of $100,000 per year! If you're absolutely serious about landing a high paying oil industry job, then you must apply today so we can attempt to get you working in the next few weeks!

From reading the testimonials it would appear that it would be relatively easy to land a six figure income working on an oil rig in a pretty short time.

A little more research led me to an AP article addressing the significant increase in the number of fatalities on oil and gas rigs.

Did you know that almost 600 workers died on the job in a US oil field between 2002 and 2007? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics during that period, the number of deaths per year rose by around 70 percent, from 72 victims in 2002 to 125 in 2006 and a preliminary count of 120 in 2007.

There has been a surge in the number of people employed in the nation's oil and gas fields since 2000. Many of the deaths have happened in Texas, which is the nation's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas.

Some of the factors experts blame for the increase in fatalities:
- New, inexperienced workers who speak very little English
- High pressure work environment where workplace safety lapses are common
- Drug and alcohol use among workers. Some may be turning to speed to get through 12hour shifts.
- Misuse of heavy machinery that can maim and kill easily

"A lot of the rig crews are made up of people who were working at Wal-Mart yesterday. Literally," said Mark Altom of the Woodard, Okla.-based Energy Training Council.

Source - AP

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