Over the past decade, business has been booming in North Dakota as the oil industry devoted a lot of resources to hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The Bakken shale in western North Dakota is the nation's second largest shale play, producing just over one million barrels of oil per day. However, with the increased production has come an increase in the number of injuries and fatalities in the oil fields.
First Oil Rig Fatality of 2015
Last week, the oil industry in North Dakota recorded its first fatality of 2015. While repairing an oil rig at QEP Resources near Mandaree, the owner of an oil service company died and another employee was severely injured. According to a preliminary investigation, the two men were removing a heater tube on the treater system when the fluids were inadvertently ignited. Both of them men suffered severe burns, though the owner of the service company's burns proved fatal. The oilfield fatality is the first recorded death since November 18, 2014 when a worker suffered a fatal head injury after slipping on an icy mat on a rig near Williston.
Oil Rig Fatalities Higher Than Average
According to officials, half of the workplace fatalities in North Dakota since 2010 occurred on an oil rig. Oil rig workers are roughly eight times more likely to be killed at work than the all-industry average. Arnold & Itkin represents injured oil rig workers all across the country. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while working in the oilfield, contact our oil rig injury attorneys today to learn how we can help.