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The high price of southern Texas' booming oil industry (1 of 2)

The booming oil and gas industries have created many jobs and a healthy economy in Texas, but it has come at a price. At least 11 drilling workers have been killed on the job in preventable accidents on the Eagle Ford Shale since 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The truth is that the oil field industry is extremely dangerous, and making a profit is sometimes valued over the safety of workers, a recent article from the San Antonio Express highlighted. Take the case of a worker who was killed in 2009 while erecting and stabilizing a derrick Webb County, Texas.

The 25-year-old father of two called his pregnant wife the day before he was killed and told her that he was concerned about going up the 25-foot derrick because it was moving. He also said his supervisors told him to climb up the tower or he would lose his job. He complied, and sadly lost his life when the derrick collapsed on top of him.

An OSHA investigation concluded that the rig manager and other supervisors knew that the derrick was hazardous, but they failed to follow their own safety program. The company, Coastal Drilling Land Co. LLC, only ended up having to pay OSHA $3,920 for the "serious" safety violation.

This was just one of the 11 fatal accidents that occurred on the southern portion of the Eagle Ford Shale, where drilling is busiest. This area alone accounts for nearly a third of all fatal accidents within the oil and gas industry in Texas since 2009.

Please check back later this week for more on this important topic.

Source: San Antonio Express, "Eagle Ford pay is high, but work can be fatal," John Tedesco, Feb. 16, 2013

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