Industrial jobs are known to be hazardous and that’s especially true of refinery work in particular. It is difficult to track the exact numbers of injuries and fatalities in oil refineries since most of the most dangerous work is contracted to companies that have a different classification for federal oversight. Contractor deaths at refineries only began to be tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011, but even now, not all fatalities are recorded under the current record system.
HOW REFINERY ACCIDENTS ARE MONITORED
Since mining is defined as extraction of natural resources from the earth, drilling for oil and gas and other support activities for oil and gas operations are classified under mining operations according to the North American Industry Classification System. Nonfatal injury and illness for refinery work only includes drilling of oil and gas wells; fatal injury records include oil and gas extraction, drilling oil and gas wells and all support jobs for oil and gas extraction.
REPORTED INJURY AND FATALITY IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
In 2008, the rate of injury and illness caused by fire and explosion across these industries was 0.2 per 10,000 full-time workers; this added by to 2,230 cases that resulted in days taken off of work. For the oil and gas industry, 120 fatal work injuries were reported in 2008. Among the most frequent events that resulted in a death were:
- Transportation (41 percent)
- Contact with equipment or objects (25 percent)
- Fires and explosions (15 percent)
RECENT DATA FOR REFINING ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS
Texas reported 75 fatal injuries in the oil and gas industry in 2014, up from 51 in 2013. The fatal injury rate was 16.3, which shows the risk of experiencing a fatal injury on the job, and is a number used for comparison to other industries. The rate is based on number of accidents per 100,000 full-time workers. The fatal injury rate calculated by a state is not to be compared to national rates or to rates for other states, however, due to a number of variables which make direct comparison inaccurate.
In 2014, Texas recorded a rate of 2.5 for non-fatal injuries in oil and gas, and 1.5 for supporting activities for oil and gas operations. This number is based on the reports of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers.
Among the accidents reported in Texas in 2014, the most common were:
- Transportation – 39
- Contact with equipment – 17
- Fires and explosions – 7
- Falls – 7
- Exposure to harmful substances – 4
Over the last several years, Texas has seen an upward trend in reported injuries in oil and gas jobs; although the data cannot provide a cause, refinery jobs have been on the increase over that time span as the industry has been experiencing an economic boom.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND INDUSTRIAL INJURY
Dugas Law Firm have extensive experience in industrial accident cases in Texas. We are familiar with refinery work and the most common injuries and can guide you through this unfortunate event to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.