Investigation Reveals Failure to Implement Proper Safety Standards a Factor in Most Texas Drilling Accidents
Thousands of incidents reported by Texas oil field workers since 2008 went uninvestigated by OSHA, the federal agency responsible for worker safety, according to a year-long investigation by the Houston Chronicle. Few jobs pose as high a risk of danger as those in the oil and gas exploration industry, but many of these incidents, which include catastrophic injuries and fatalities, could be prevented through implementation of a stricter set of safety standards, such as those which offshore drilling operations have already been forced to adopt. Oil and gas companies have profited on the lack of government inspections and oversight with regard to onshore drill sites. Such disregard, in conjunction with the recent fracking boom, seems to correlate with the direct increase in injuries and deaths to onshore workers. The industry death toll saw a peak in 2012, with 65 deaths occurring that year. 40 percent of these were in Texas.