Houston’s economy is dependent on the energy industry, particularly oil. Today, gigantic petrochemical manufacturing plants are found within the metropolitan area. The city houses many of the highest level oil and gas exploration and production firms; consequently many Houstonians are oil field workers. These workers are mostly young men who are at the peak of their manhood, working long hours and driving pickup trucks along rural highways.
Result of a recent study showed that oil and gas workers are 8.5 times more prone to die in a road vehicle crash while doing their jobs compared with other people who are involved in other industries. Pinpointed for especially high risk are workers for smaller companies.
Between the years 2003 to 2009, more than 1/3 of oil workers death in a Texas oil company is caused by road mishaps.
Lead author of the study, Kyla Retzer who is also the program coordinator of the Occupational Safety & Health Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute, observed that the time covered by the study was finished prior to the shale drilling boom and also included other parts of the country.
Retzer said North Dakota is in the same predicament as Texas but it was not included in the study; although it has the same issues which needed to be considered.
Published online by the Accident Analysis & Prevention, it was drawn by analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retzer and her co-researchers said discovered that between the periods 2003 to 2009. More than 200 deaths among oil and gas extraction fieldworkers are due to motor road accidents while on duty.
The fatalities also counted people engaged as drilling contractors, operators and well service companies, excluding other types of workers.
Twenty-eight percent of all related deaths among people employed in the industries are caused by motor accidents. This makes road wrecks as the number one cause on on-the-job deaths.
Compared with workers in other major industry groups, Retzer reported that a higher rate of vehicle-related fatalities happened to people working in transportation and warehousing.
Texas Department of Transportation is looking into the need of developing campaigns to address driver safe which groups in many industries are recommending.
Veronica Breyer who is the Department’s spokesperson said that campaigns will soon be launched and will address safety specifically parts of the state where oil and natural gas production is underway.
Accidents often occurred among pickup truck drivers as they are not required to secure a commercial driver’s license.
Although most people looked at larger vehicles as the larger source of road anger; but the truth is that safety on the road is upon the hands of the driver.
Fifty-sex percent of fatal accidents involved only one vehicle as driving alone on a long-stretched of rural road involves longer hours. Driver’s fatigue is a vital contributory factor causing accidents.
Another important consideration is the use of seat belts. High incidence of road deaths happened as people in the vehicle did away with seat belts.
During an impact, people inside the vehicle sans seat belts are ejected out of their seats. Lap and shoulder belts have reduced the danger of death and road injuries by about 60% in light trucks.
By the studies made in the past, researchers found out that oil field workers, as well as those in rural areas found that seat belts are irrelevant.
Retzer said that she is sad to note that lots of young workers follow the same train of thought.
It has also been noted that workers at companies employing less than 20 workers have the highest risk since small companies do not employ a safety and training staff.
In conclusion to the study, Retzer and co-researchers are recommending to industry organizations and the government to be proactive in working together to sponsor safety training programs and other safety tools for small companies.
Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.
Please consult with an experienced Texas car accident lawyer now for free consultation.
Source: Wikipedia Org ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Houston)