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Fatal accident on Houston company's oil rig

In Houston, we understand that the oil extraction and refining business is a dangerous one. Workers are at risk of sustaining serious injuries in industrial accidents at refineries or on oil rigs.

We understand, too, that the oil and gas industry is required to make their workplaces as safe as possible for the men and women who do the critical work necessary to keep the Texas economy strong. 

Far too often, we read of a worker who suffers devastating injuries because an employer failed to meet established safety standards.

 We don't know if that's the case in a recent fatal accident at an oil rig owned by a Houston company. A California man died on an oil rig near Los Alamos, north of Los Angeles.

A news report indicates that the federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident to determine not only what happened, but whether or not the employer met all safety requirements in the work area.

 The 36-year-old worker apparently slipped and fell to his death at the facility.

OSHA says slips and falls are among the leading causes of injuries and fatalities among American workers. It says  there are a number of common-sense steps employers can take to help make oil rigs and other industrial worksites safer, including making sure that work areas and walking surfaces are clean, clear and in good repair.

 Workers should also be trained in the safe use of ladders; ladders should also be kept in good repair or replaced.

 Guardrails should also be installed in areas where slips, trips and falls are most likely to occur, and nonskid surfaces should also be used where appropriate.

For those workers injured in an industrial accident, a conversation with an attorney can be the first step in getting the medical treatment and compensation needed for recovery.

Source: KCOY TV, "Cal/OSHA Investigating Local Oil Rig Worker Death," Oct. 16, 2013

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