Fatality rate in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry six times national average

More safety training is needed to prevent more deaths in North Dakota's oil and gas industry.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, North Dakota has lost an average of more than one worker per month to a workplace accident.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, North Dakota’s oil and gas industry has lost an average of more than one worker a month to an on-the-job accident, triggering demands for more workplace safety training. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced it is transferring more inspectors to the state in an effort to prevent future deaths amid the ongoing oil boom.

“These industries are inherently dangerous, and workers  are exposed to multiple hazards every day,” OSHA’s area director in Bismarck, Eric Brooks, said in a news release. “Their safety  must not be compromised because demand for production keeps increasing.”

In 2012, North Dakota’s oil and gas industry fatality rate was 104 per 100,000 workers — six times greater than the national average, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Eighty-seven percent of all of the state’s workplace fatalities since the start of 2012 have occurred in the oil and gas field. Since the oil boom began around 2006, thousands of workers have come to the state looking for jobs. Unfortunately, many of these people have little or no experience working in this high-risk industry, which has no doubt contributed to the high fatality rate.

As more OSHA investigators arrive in North Dakota, be sure you and your team are in full compliance with safety policies. Indeed, it is imperative oil and gas supervisors in all states invest in ongoing employee training to ensure all workers are staying safe on-the-job. Mastery Technologies offers a wide variety of inexpensive and easy-to-use options that cover such important topics as fall prevention, lockout/tagout procedures, incident response,  and environmental protection. See the course catalog for a full listing of available topics.

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