Date ArticleType
8/20/2018 Member News
Even 1 death is too many. What does it take to get to 0?

Even 1 death is too many. What does it take to get to 0?

By Pamela King

It is sometimes said that statistics don't matter until you or a loved one becomes one.

Roger Cunningham. Charles "C.J." Bevins. Kyle Winter. These are just some of the nearly 1,000 workers who have lost their lives in the shale patch in the 10 years since hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies opened up new oil and gas resources across the country.

Their friends' and families' lives are forever changed.

"It's 100 percent different," said Cindy Simpson, whose husband, David Simpson, died on an XTO Energy Inc. well site in March 2014. "Nothing's the same.

"In its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks the number of workers who, like David Simpson, have died on the job. At the height of the boom, federal officials noticed a startling trend in the industry's fatality rate, which compares the number of worker deaths against the total number of workers in an industry.

The occurrence of worker deaths in oil and gas was seven times higher than the fatality rate across all industries.

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