The oil and gas industries are some of the most influential industries in Texas. In fact, these industries are major contributors to the state’s overall economy. There are opportunities both for blue-collar workers and college-educated professionals in the oil and gas fields, and those opportunities often come with premium pay.
From evaluating areas to see if they would be good places to install wells to maintaining existing extraction operations, there is a lot of fieldwork required from oil and gas professionals in Texas. Professionals headed out to an extraction site will want to familiarize themselves with the two concerning safety statistics below in an effort to better safeguard their well-being.
The main source of risk isn’t what people think
It is very common for people to assume that the top safety concern for oil and gas operations will be fire or explosions. Others fixate on heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals. Certainly, incidents where fires break out or machines strike people are quite dramatic and draw media attention.
However, the average fatal incident in the oil and gas industry will involve transportation rather than catastrophic failures at an extraction site. According to the worker death data from 2017, 42% of all worker fatalities reported in the oil and gas industry related to transportation incidents. Getting to and from a work site is often the most dangerous part of the job for someone in the oil and gas industry. This applies both to those working at rural locations on land and to those employed at offshore oil rigs.
Texas sees a disproportionate number of worker deaths
Given how much oil and gas work occurs in Texas, some people will not find it surprising to learn that the state leads the nation in the number of oil and gas worker fatalities. As of 2017, which is the most recent year that had a federal analysis of oil and gas worker fatalities available, Texas had far more employee deaths than any other state. A shocking 44 of the 69 oil and gas fatalities in 2017 took place in Texas, so the risk is higher in the Lone Star State than elsewhere.
Cultivating an awareness of factors, like location, that influence one’s risk of an injury on the job can help those in dangerous professions advocate for themselves and minimize their work injury risks.