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
- GTECH Files First Amended Plea to the Jurisdiction
GTECH Corporation filed its First Amended Plea to the Jurisdiction in the Fun 5’s lawsuit pending in Travis County, Texas. GTECH alleges that it is immune from suit because it was merely doing what it was instructed to do by the Texas Lottery Commission. Plaintiffs intend to show the court that it was GTECH, not the Lottery […]
- Online Petition to Restore Honesty and Fairness to Texas Lottery Gaining More Momentum
A Texas lottery player’s online petition asking Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Strauss to restore honesty and fairness to the Texas Lottery is continuing to gain momentum. The petition has now gained 4,757 signatures. The petition calls for the state officials to shake up the top management at the Texas […]
- Plaintiffs Set Status Conference to Obtain Trial Date From Court
A Notice of Status Conference was filed by the Plaintiffs in the Fun 5’s lawsuit against GTECH which is pending in Travis County, Texas. The status conference, scheduled for February 18, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., is designed to discuss with the court the status of the case and to obtain a trial date from the court.
- Online Petition Calling for Governor to Restore Honesty and Fairness to Texas Lottery Gains Momentum
A Texas lottery player’s online petition asking Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Strauss to restore honesty and fairness to the Texas Lottery is continuing to gain momentum. The petition has now gained 513 signatures. The petition calls for the state officials to shake up the top management at the Texas […]
- Date Set for Hearing on GTECH’s Amended Plea to the Jurisdiction in Fun 5’s Case
A hearing will be held on GTECH’s Amended Plea to the Jurisdiction in the Fun 5’s scratch-off ticket lawsuit pending in Travis County, Texas. The Notice of Hearing on GTECH’s Amended Plea to the Jurisdiction set the date for the hearing as February 18, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. Travis County has a rotating docket which means the […]