Oil Field Injury Statistics
The oil and gas industries are frequently in the news. However, media coverage rarely reports on the dangers and hazards that accompanied them. Over 450,000 workers were employed in the oil and gas extraction and support industries in 2011, according to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. These workers are subjected to dangerous working conditions that can quickly lead to personal injuries if safety measures are not carefully followed.
A total of 120 fatal work injuries occurred in the oil and gas extraction injury in one of the last recorded years. The three most frequent fatal events were transportation incidents (41%), contact with objects and equipment (25%), and fires & explosions (15%). Men accounted for all of the fatal work injuries in the aforementioned year.
The three states with the most oil and gas extraction industry fatal work injuries in 2008 were Texas (41 fatal work injuries), Oklahoma (21 fatal work injuries), and Louisiana (13 fatal work injuries). Over the five-year period of 2004-2008, Oklahoma oil field fatal injuries increased by 91%, while Texas has seen an increase of 21% and Louisiana increased by 30%.
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the number of total recordable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses was more than 4,000 each year from 2004-2007. The latest report shows that the rate of injuries per 100 full-time workers (4.6) in the oil field industry is higher than the rate per 100 full-time workers for all industries (4.2).
Median days away from work are a key measure of the severity of injuries. The oil industry had a median of 30 days, which is much higher than the median for all industries of 7 days. One reason for the high median days away from work is that 25% of injuries with days away from work are fractures, which typically require a long recovery time. Nearly one-third of all injuries that require days away from work in the oil industry are due to workers being struck by objects.