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The oil and gas industry: severe injuries upstream

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2018 | Workers' Compensation |

If asked to identify the most dangerous industries in the U.S., most American’s would include the oil and gas industry. That reaction is supported by a recent analysis by E&E News which found the oil and gas industry held the highest rates of severe injury in the nation. According to the analysis, the definition of a severe injury is one causing hospitalization or loss of a body part.

What makes the oil and gas industry synonymous with danger is this anomaly: it has a high fatality rate and a low injury rate. When accidents happen, they’re often fatal and make headlines.

Upstream dangers

Most of the injuries occur in the upstream section of the supply chain. In the upstream industry, workers “…identify deposits, drill wells, and recover raw materials from underground. This sector also includes related services, such as rig operations, feasibility studies, machinery rental and extraction chemical supply.”

Most common injuries

  • Amputation
  • Fractures
  • Falls/Struck by Objects
  • Fires and Explosions


The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OHSA) of 1970 resulted in an agency dedicated to maintaining safe and healthy “…working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”

In 2015, OSHA began requiring employers to report on severe injuries. In March of 2016, they released a summary of their first year of data which showed just how many severe injuries occur at American job sites. As a result, we now know that an average of 30 people per day are severely injured on the job.

While OSHA is working to make workplaces safer, they can’t do it alone. OSHA relies on the reporting of industry experts on the scene to file safety complaints. To do so, you can fill out a form online, fax or mail a form in to your local OSHA office or call your local office. For information on how to submit a safety complaint, click here.


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