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
- Appellant Brief Filed in Nettles Case in Dallas
Attorneys for Dawn Nettles have filed their Appellant’s Brief in the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. The brief asks the court of appeals to overturn the Dallas trial court’s ruling that GTECH has “derivative immunity”. The Dallas trial court’s decision in Ms. Nettles case is directly opposite to the decision reached by the Austin court […]
- GTECH Files Appeal in Fun 5’s Case
GTECH Corporation (IGT) has filed a notice of appeal to the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin. GTECH is asking the court of appeals to overrule the Austin trial court’s denial of GTECH’s Plea to the Jurisdiction. In its Plea, GTECH claims it is immune from liability for any fraud claims because it is a […]
- Mark Lanier Files Notice of Appearance in Fun 5’s Lawsuit
Texas trial attorney Mark Lanier has filed a Notice of Appearance to notify the court and counsel for GTECH Corporation (IGT) that he and his associate, Chris Gadoury, are appearing as lead trial counsel for the plaintiffs in the Fun 5’s lawsuit pending in Travis County. Attorneys Manfred Sternberg and Richard LaGarde continue to be counsel of […]
- Court Overrules GTECH’s Request for Immunity
The Honorable Amy Clark Meachum, judge of the 201st Judicial District Court in Travis County, issued an Order Overruling GTECH’s Plea to the Jurisdiction today. Her order rejected GTECH’s argument that it enjoys immunity because it is a government contractor. The judge’s order means the Fun 5’s case can proceed forward against GTECH. It is a […]
- TWC News Covers the Travis County Fun 5’s Hearing
Time Warner Cable news in San Antonio and Austin carried a news story about yesterday’s hearing on GTECH’s Plea to the Jurisdiction. You can see San Antonio story by clicking >>here<<, and the Austin story by clicking >>here<<. Both news stations ask for comments on their website about whether the lawsuit should be allowed to […]