A man from northwest North Dakota went to work on July 28, never to return. The 47-year-old man suffered injuries in a workplace accident that ultimately led to his death on Aug. 8. Reportedly, he was a dump truck driver who hauled a load of concrete to a construction site on U.S. Highway 2 on that day in July.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is a national trade union center, and it is the largest federation of unions in the United States (AFL-CIO). This federation issued an annual report that indicates North Dakota topped the list of deaths per 100,000 in 2015 for the fourth time in five years. One man who lost his brother in a workplace accident that is currently under investigation believes his brother would not have died had he worked in another state.
Compliance with the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is what is necessary for the protection of employees. It has saved the lives of many of workers nationwide. However, some safety precautions can put workers in harm's way. The description of a North Dakota man's struggle to adjust to the consequences of a workplace accident underscores this point.
Oil tank batteries in North Dakota and other oil and gas producing states are workplaces that pose life-threatening hazards to any employees who work there. This type of danger was underscored by a fatal workplace accident that occurred in another state on a recent Thursday. Reports indicate that one worker died and three others received burn injuries.
Coal mine workers in North Dakota and neighboring states face multiple workplace hazards on every work shift. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) says five workers lost their lives from January through March this year. The agency said it is investigating a workplace accident that claimed the life of a coal miner on a recent Saturday.
Oil field workers in North Dakota might be interested in the results of a recent study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They conducted research to determine the cause of so many deaths of workers in the gas and oil extraction industry. The type of workplace accident on which they focused was falls, which appeared to be a primary cause of fatalities in this industry.
Workers on the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota -- or any other industry -- are no doubt aware of the benefits they may claim from the workers' compensation insurance program for the state. A victim of a job injury is entitled to claim benefits, but many may be concerned about the timeline of such a claim. Some injured workers avoid medical care because they are concerned about the costs involved while not realizing that the workers' comp benefits will cover it.
With the rise of hydraulic fracturing as a method to produce natural oil and gas in North Dakota and other areas, the detractions and merits of this practice have been debated on many occasions. Not only the impact on the water and environment but also the occupational exposure and the potential of causing job injury or illness. Those involved in the debates include industrialists, scientists, politicians and more.
Most employees of companies related to the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota face life-threatening risks whenever they are on duty. This also applies to service teams that perform specialized functions in the oil fields. A tragic accident recently caused a worker to suffer a fatal job injury when he landed underneath a truck that was backing up.
While activities have somewhat slowed down in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, workers in other industries continue to risk their lives in hazardous conditions in some work environments. A workplace accident can happen at any time, and in many cases, injuries are catastrophic or worse. Sometimes it takes only a moment for a life to be lost, and compliance with safety regulations could prevent many occupational injuries and deaths.