OSHA Responds to Increase in Oilfield Deaths

workers-compensation

Photo of construction workers on a jobsite

According to the Odessa American, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is hiring three more inspectors at their Lubbock office, because there has been an increase in oilfield accidents in that area.

How Many Workers Have Died in Texas Oilfields?

OSHA’s Lubbock office has seen 10 oilfield deaths in its jurisdiction this year. In total, Texas reports 16 job-related deaths by oil and gas employees in that same period.

Currently, the office in Lubbock is a satellite of the El Paso office. However, OSHA intends on making Lubbock its own office, responsible for overseeing 70 counties that include the cities of Amarillo and Abilene.

OSHA’s regional administrator, John Hermanson says that hiring more OSHA inspectors for the Lubbock office will help increase their presence at job sites. Dean Wingo, OSHA’s assistant regional administrator said, “awareness can be a big deterrent. Just going out to the oilfield, you inspect the rigs even if you don’t find things.”

The Odessa American says the Lubbock office will have nine full time investigators on staff. This will help OSHA better provide safety and information to all workers and employers.

Before the recent oil boom, investigators worked out of the El Paso office. The Lubbock office was created when more oil companies started to come into the area.

OSHA will have an easier time monitoring oil companies with more inspectors and an office closer to where the oilfields are.

Unfortunately, there still may not be enough inspectors for the Lubbock office. The OSHA investigators are responsible for overseeing all industries, not just the oil industry.

On average, OSHA offices around the United States employ 12 inspectors.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Source: http://www.oaoa.com/news/government/article_f548fe82-f349-11e3-b486-001a4bcf6878.html



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