Fatal vehicle accidents high in US oil and gas industry

auto traffic

Oil and gas industry workers in the United States are 8.5 percent more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident while on the job than those working in other sectors, according to a recent study published online by Accident Analysis & Prevention. Vehicle accidents accounted for 28 percent of all work-related deaths among workers in the industry between 2003 and 2009, Fuel Fix reported.

The article stated this may be due to the fact many of oil and gas workers are young, male, work long hours anddrive pickup trucks on rural highways. According the to study, those working for smaller companies, like well-service companies, are especially at high risk for fatal car accidents.

Lead study author Kyla Retzer, who is also a program coordinator with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said more than a third of the oil field workers killed in accidents between 2003 and 2009 were working in Texas.

“Texas had by far the largest number of rigs,” he said, according to Fuel Fix. “At the time the study was done, North Dakota didn't have many at all, but they are growing at a fast, fast pace. It is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed in North Dakota.”

Oil and gas exploration isn't expected to slow down in the United States. The Globe and Mail recently reported the booming industry could experience a "glory year" in 2013, reaching record activity levels.

PennEnergy's research area offers details on safety concerns with the oil and gas industry.

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