April Explosion Contributes to Texas’ Prominent Oil and Gas Fatalities
Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 30, 2014 – In West Texas, two died and nine were injured in an oil well explosion on the morning of April 30. The tragic accident brings two more deaths to a state that has accounted for 40 percent of all oil and gas-related deaths in the United States since 2009.
According to Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper, a buildup of pressure led to an explosion while workers with contracting firm Crescent Services were changing a wellhead at a site owned by RKI Exploration and Production at around 8:00 a.m. Amos B. Ortega, 46, of Artesia, New Mexico and Roberto Magdaleno, 41, of El Paso were identified as the two victims of the explosion.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas accounted for 216 of the 545 oil worker deaths from 2008-2012. During that period, death rates rose 3.2 percent. Currently, fatality rates in the oil and gas industry are eight times higher than the all-industry standard.
And in Texas, 78 percent of fatalities resulted from safety violations; deaths which could have been prevented with more oversight.
Worker inexperience and fatigue from 12- to 14-hour shifts also contributed to these deaths. As baby boomers retire, new workers are hired at an ever more rapid pace to fill the surge in demand. Unfortunately, these new workers do not come equipped with the training necessary to remain safe on the job while performing the physically demanding, repetitive tasks asked of them in the field.
“The job gains in the oil and gas industry have come with an unacceptable rise in fatalities,” said Houston personal injury attorney Richard LaGarde, of the LaGarde Law Firm. “Managers of these oil and gas worksites must enforce proper workplace procedures and ensure that all employees receive proper training. It shouldn’t have to take a tragedy like this to force us to look at safer workplace practices.”
LaGarde Law Firm, P.C
3000 Weslayan, Ste. 380
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: (713) 993-0660
Toll Free: 1-866-LAGARDE
LaGarde Law Firm, P.C.
Jason M. Welborn - Of Counsel
617 S. Buchanan Street
PO Box 2053
Lafayette, LA 70501
Phone: (337) 443-4100
Toll Free: 1-866-LAGARDE
- Judge rules some Jones Act plaintiffs may seek punitive damages
A federal judge in Pennsylvania who has overseen a sprawling, multidistrict litigation has made an important ruling on whether Jones Act plaintiffs can seek punitive damages. Merchant marine workers and their survivors are suing ship owners, alleging that exposure to ship-born asbestos scarred their lungs and/or contributed to their deaths. They are suing under the […]
- Fraud in the Oil Patch – Oil and Gas Investors Should Be Wary
The United States is experiencing an oil boom. As with every boom, hucksters are busy designing clever schemes to steal money from eager oil and gas investors. Federal officials recently accused Halek Energy, LLC with swindling 300 investors out of nearly $22 million in a Texas oil and gas project. The company’s CEO, Jason Halek, […]
- Senate May Suspend Trucking Safety Rule
A transportation funding bill currently making its way through the Senate features an amendment that could suspend a trucking safety rule implemented last year. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the amendment that would suspend the so-called “restart rule,” implemented in July 2013, for at least a year. The restart rule, which is unpopular with trucking […]
- Safety tips for summer driving
As summer begins, many Texans hit the road to vacation and visit with friends and family. The auto accident attorneys at the LaGarde Law Firm offer these tips to help keep you and your family safe while driving this summer. Check your vehicle before you go. Check the condition of your tire treads and windshield […]
I just had to share this photo with all my fellow Cajuns. I’ve heard of a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. However, this Cajun took it one step further. Thanks to our friend Joe Nichols for sharing this photo with us.