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
- Questions Raised Over Texas Lottery’s Financial Statements
The Texas Lottery Commission’s Executive Director, Gary Grief, gave deposition testimony in the Fun 5’s lawsuit on Friday, September 25th. A detailed summary of his testimony will be provided to our Fun 5’s clients in the coming weeks. However, a question was raised during Mr. Grief’s deposition that is troubling and needs to be immediately […]
- Fun 5’s Depositions Continue
Mary Pat and I are in Austin preparing for the depositions of management level employees of GTECH Corporation, the operator of the Texas Lottery as well as the deposition of Gary Grief, the Executive Director of the Texas Lottery. We are proud to be fighting for the rights of over 1,000 fine Texas consumers.
- Agreement Reached on Deposition of Executive Director of Lottery Commission
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Fun 5’s lottery lawsuit have reached an agreement with the Attorney General’s office to move forward with the deposition of Gary Grief, the Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission. The deposition is scheduled for September 25th in Austin. A copy of the deposition notice can be viewed >>here<<.
- Additional Depositions Set for Fun 5’s Case
Attorneys for Plaintiffs in the Fun 5’s lawsuit against GTECH have noticed the depositions of Dan Morales and Tom Stanek for September 24th in Austin. Mr. Morales is the Instant Ticket Sales Assistant for GTECH while Mr. Stanek is Senior Director for Sales and Marketing for GTECH. Copies of their deposition notices can be viewed […]
- Fun 5’s Plaintiffs Designate Experts for Trial
Plaintiffs in the Fun 5’s lawsuit against GTECH have designated their experts for purposes of trial. Their liability expert is Dr. Ronald Butters who is the former chair of the Linguistics Program and the English Department at Duke University. Dr. Butters is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the New Oxford American Dictionary. You can […]