September 14, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Associated Press Points to Increased Fatalities in the Oil Patch

 2008 06 Oil-Rig
The Associated Press says that oil field deaths are “soaring.”
But what do the statistics really show?

According to the article, “deaths per year” rose from 72 in 2002 to 125 in 2006.

But is total deaths the right statistic to measure? Or should it be deaths per 200,000 worker-hours?

If you look at those stats, the death rate increased in the early 2000’s, but has dropped since then.

The article claims that lack of training, drug use, and a high-pressure environment – as well as more drilling – are the cause of the increased accidents.

The article seems to find causes without root cause analysis or adequate evaluation of the statistics.

One thing I’m sure of is that the TapRooT® Users in the oil patch are working hard to maintain excellent safety records – even with increased drilling activity and a “high-pressure environment.” The discussions at the 2008 TapRooT® Summit about sharing safety best practices and how to have a good safety culture will help them improve.

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