The oil industry has been a driving force for many Texans since the oil boom in the early 1900s, providing many with jobs and housing opportunities for years to come. However as those who work in the oilfields will likely know, it can also be a very dangerous job. This is because many oilfield workers run the risk of dying on the job.
Across Texas, workplace injuries and deaths decreased have decreased over the past few years, except in one industry: oil and gas. According to the Houston Chronicle, Oil field deaths reached 545 during America’s drilling and fracking frenzy from 2008 to 2012, with Texas’ 216 reported fatalities leading the nation.
Nabors Drilling USA LLC and its sister company Nabors Well Services, both based in Houston, have been connected with the majority of oilfield deaths. The company suffered five worker deaths in Texas between 2007 and 2011, and two additional oilfield deaths in North Dakota and Wyoming during the same timeframe.
While OSHA investigated the deaths and found violations at all five of the Nabors’ facilities, the company was only fined $104,375.00. Nabors’ CEO has an annual compensation package of $16 million. The fine was a small slap on the wrist for the company, and even though small, the drilling giant appealed the fines and got them reduced by half.
Nabors operates in 24 countries and employs 1,983 people. In 2012, the company spent approximately $100 million on workplace safety for its 85 oil rigs worldwide.
Most oilfield deaths are caused by flying metal, equipment malfunctions (including becoming caught in equipment), electrocution, and falling.
Houston Workplace Accident Attorneys
As oil and gas drilling continues to spread across Texas – and the United States – companies must mindful of the safety of their workers. A small fine does not force companies to be safe. A small fine does not bring back a loved one. However, at Craft Law Firm, we can help you and your family find a path forward toward obtaining justice where big business has sacrificed a loved one’s safety in the name of corporate profits. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed while working on an oilfield, contact us today. We can help.