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Fatal accidents in oil and gas industry are too prevalent

It is fairly safe to say that people in Connecticut are fairly dependent on gas and oil. These are two of our most common fuels and it is no wonder that the industry is booming. While there are more and more people working in the field, there has also been an increase in the number of fatal workplace accidents happening in the industry, too. Because there are considerable risks in the oil and gas industry, it also means there is the potential for very serious injuries.

The numbers are quite shocking: every three days or so, someone died from a workplace accident in 2012. For a single industry, that is very high, five to seven times higher than most other employers. While it is not the deadliest field, there have been serious concerns about safety in oil and gas.

That is why there was a national stand down last month. A stand down is a time for employees to halt work and take the time to talk about improving safety. Since the number of fatal accidents has been increasing over the past several years, it only makes sense for industry leaders to participate in a national stand down.

One of the biggest concerns is transportation, a particularly deadly aspect of the oil and gas industry. With nearly 40 percent of fatal accidents being related to transportation, it is important that employers provide safety information to employees transporting oil and gas.

Ultimately, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure workplace safety, but if an accident does happen, employees or their families may be able to file for workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Oil and gas fatalities spike with boom," Anya Litvak, Nov. 30, 2013

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