Eagle Ford counties lead the state in oil and gas related deaths for 2014.
As the oil boom exploded over the last few years, so has the number of deaths, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency reports that number of fatal work injury cases in oil and gas extraction industries were 27 percent higher in 2014, rising to 142 in 2014 from 112 in 2013.
Between 2010 and 2014, 615 U.S. oil field workers died with 270 (44%) of those being from Texas. And in 2014 alone, half of the country’s oil field deaths were in Texas.
The oil field is a dangerous place, where repetitious work and long hours create an environment ripe for mistakes. In South Texas, workers (all men) have been crushed, burned, electrocuted, scalded, run over and hit by equipment.
Fatal work injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector were 17 percent higher in 2014, rising to 181 from 155 in 2013
The number of deaths were directly proportional to the upswing in activity and with the downturn leaving thousands out of work, the trend may slow. More recent accident figures are not yet available to the public.