The main reason given by industry apologists to continue allowing industry to run rough-shod over us is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS… to infinity. Well, here’s the truth about all those jobs industry provides:
Those who work on oil rigs and gas pipelines have some of the most hazardous jobs in America. Workers who are injured on the job have important legal rights to recover compensation for their injuries.
A recent story in Forbes magazine rated oil rig and gas pipeline workers as having the worst job in America for 2010. The survey, conducted by CareerCast, considered five criteria before awarding the distinction to rig and pipeline roustabouts: the pay, work environment, stress, physical demands and hiring outlook.
Perhaps what makes oil rig and gas pipeline work truly difficult is the danger the workers face as a matter of course, day in and day out. These workers can put in 12 or more hours each day, operating or fixing heavy machinery, negotiating slippery surfaces and working on multiple platforms. Many of the workers are young and inexperienced, and not every employer takes the necessary time to properly train them. Moreover, the constant demand for oil and gas makes for a high-pressure work environment in which worker safety is not always the predominant concern.
When all of these factors are taken together, it is no surprise that oil rig and gas pipeline workers have high injury and fatality rates. Some of the most common types of accidents in this line of work include:
-Slips and falls
-Machinery accidents, from malfunctions and human error
-Explosions and fires
-Injury or death caused by falling objects
-Exposure to hazardous chemicals