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July 21st, 2010

Gas Well Worker Crushed to Death by Drilling Equipment

The incredible hazards that workers in the oil and gas industry constantly face not just on the water, but also on land, were clear to see in a fatal industrial accident last week in Arlington.  The worker was working at a gas well near the Kennedale border, when a large piece of drilling equipment apparently fell on him.  The worker was almost instantly crushed, and died at the scene.  It seems that the workers had been engaged in rig assembly at the time of the accident.

The worker was employed by Trinidad Drilling, a Canada-based company that works for Chesapeake Energy.  Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have already begun their probe into the death.

The investigation is likely to focus on how such a large piece of the drilling equipment simply came loose and fell on the worker.  There are several questions that must be asked:

  • What kind of safeguards were in place to prevent an accident like this, especially during the assembly process?
  • What kind of training did workers involved in the assembly have?

It’s not for nothing that the oil and gas drilling industry is called one of the most dangerous workplaces for American workers.  This industry has some of the highest rates of worker injuries and fatalities every year.  The risks that workers face seem to be getting a lot more media attention ever since the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April.  The public now seems to have a stronger sense of the kind of risk these men face when they work to access the fuel that runs our economy.  And yet, so few of us pause to think of the worker on the big when we fill up the tank at the station.

The industrial accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent workers injured in construction accidents, refinery explosions, crane accidents, toxic exposure, and other industrial accidents around Texas and nationwide.

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