OSHA to Increase Oil and Gas Safety Enforcement
Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 12, 2014 - Responding to a spate of deaths among North Dakota oil and gas workers, federal safety officials are stepping up their enforcement efforts in the region.
In July, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an enforcement emphasis program focused on the Bakken region of North Dakota, where advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies in 2000 have led to a still-continuing boom in oil production.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, 34 oil, gas and construction workers in North Dakota have suffered fatal work-related injuries since January 2012.
Attorney Richard LaGarde said the increased federal oversight is necessary to protect workers.
“Oil and gas jobs are inherently dangerous, and the industry in North Dakota is rapidly expanding,” LaGarde said. “That situation can allow lax safety standards to grow. Oil workers endure compromised safety conditions too often -- as evidenced by the large number of critical and fatal injuries in recent years.”
The enforcement effort will focus on an increased OSHA personnel presence in the region. These professionals will conduct additional inspections of work sites. Both oil/gas drilling operations and construction sites will receive extra scrutiny.
Of the 34 oil, gas and construction deaths in the state since January 2012, 21 occurred during work on drilling rigs or support operations. The remaining 13 occurred on construction sites, primarily due to falls, “struck-by” accidents and trench cave-ins. The safety failures in construction started in much the same way as those in the oil and gas industry. As the industry expanded, construction injuries accelerated as communities scrambled to keep up with the demand for new infrastructure and housing.
Most oil and gas industry inspections are focused on preventing traumatic injury and death, but OSHA will also sample hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations for gases that are hazardous to worker health and the environment.
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
- Motor Vehicle Recalls — Start 2017 With a Safety Check
Mary Pat and I have had the privilege of representing the families of many consumers who were injured or killed by vehicle safety defects. The most heartbreaking incidents involve motor vehicles that have been recalled but for some reason the current owner of the vehicle never got the word. We want all our clients and […]
- Mark Lanier Obtains $1 Billion Verdict for Clients Against Johnson & Johnson for Defective Hip Implants
Houston attorney, Mark Lanier, obtained a $1 Billion jury verdict today for his clients against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of DePuy Pinnacle hip implants. The Dallas federal court jury found that Johnson & Johnson’s hip implants were defectively designed and that the company failed to properly warn consumers of their dangers. Details of the […]
- Press Coverage of Fun 5’s Appellate Argument
The following news story appeared on Time Warner Cable News in Austin following arguments held before a three judge panel of the Austin Court of Appeals in the Fun 5’s lawsuit: Texans Suing Lotto Ticket Makers Over Misleading Punctuation
- Hurricane Matthew
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our clients who are living in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Stay safe.
- GTECH Files Reply Brief
GTECH filed its Reply Brief in the Austin Court of Appeals. In its brief, GTECH maintains that it did not exercise any discretion in deciding to use misleading language on the Fun 5’s scratch-off tickets. GTECH urges the Court of Appeals to overrule the trial court and to hold that GTECH is entitled to immunity […]