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Workplace accidents on the rise in Texas oil industry

The oil industry here in Texas has resulted in gains for the state economy. The jobs that the industry creates have helped employees care for their families in a time when the entire country was suffering through a financial crisis. However, there are dangers associated with these types of jobs where injuries can be likely and tragic fatalities are happening too often. Workplace accidents can cost employees their lives and recent statistics highlight the risks that these workers must contend with.

The statistics were compiled from the years of 2008 to 2012 by a local news publication that made several findings. For one, in 2012, over sixty workers in the oil industry lost their lives while performing their jobs. This number is the highest that it's been in ten years and is twice as high as the previous year. The number of injuries and illnesses to workers was nearly 20,000 over that four-year period. Unfortunately, however, officials rarely looked into accidents unless they involved the death of an employee.

Several companies were found to have very high rates of benefit payments to compensate for employee injuries and deaths. Those who took the time to study the statistics around the oil industry have found that some of these companies have been forthcoming with information on what they are currently doing and what they plan to do to improve their employees' safety. Many of them cite training programs, new equipment and even specially hired employees within their safety divisions as ways that they plan on keeping employees well.

The oil industry is here to stay in Texas and even with the risks associated, it will continue to benefit the local economy. Even so, the safety of oil workers should not come second to profit. If one of these workplace accidents happens, employees have ways to ensure that their quality of life is not compromised due to a mistake by their employer. Most injured workers will be able to file for workers' compensation benefits to help cover their expenses while recuperating. This can help take some of the financial pressure off those who are injured while on the job.

Source: blog.chron.com, Pain of oil boom: top Texas firms in oilfield accident claims, Lise Olsen, Feb. 22, 2014

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