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Fatal oil field job injury chances 3 times national average

Workers in the oil and gas industry in North Dakota and elsewhere will always face high risks, even though the fatality rate in this industry has decreased significantly over recent years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal job injury rate was reduced from seven times the national average in 2005 to three times the national average in 2015. However, vehicle accidents, chemical exposure, fires and explosions will continue to threaten the lives of oil field workers.

Over 30 percent of employee deaths on the oil and gas fields are said to be caused by vehicle accidents. Apparently, transportation of pipes and other drilling equipment, chemicals, fracking sand and water to drill and complete an average oil well involves over 1,000 truck trips. The heavy vehicles often have to travel through residential areas, also threatening the safety of the community.

Other life-threatening hazards include explosions and fires. Authorities in Colorado reported that the number of leaks identified over the last three years exceeded 1,600, and in the 18 months from Jan. 2015 through July 2017, as many as 24 explosions and fires occurred. This includes the massive April explosion that claimed the lives of two people.

While fracking is said to cause earthquakes, they are not typically significant, but still remain a safety threat. Any victim of a job injury in North Dakota can pursue workers' compensation benefits to cover medical costs and lost wages. A family who has lost a loved one in the oil fields can apply for survivors' benefits, and the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is available to ease the process.

Source:, "IE Questions: Is Fracking Dangerous?", Lisa Gardiner, Sept. 18, 2017

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