Oilfield jobs: Workers suffer “horrific deaths”

Reporters have a tough job learning how many oilfield workers have died in the Eagle Ford Shale boom.

How many workers have died in the Eagle Ford Shale?
Posted on 05/08/2013 by John Tedesco

When we checked out the industry’s safety record in February, we found 11 employees who had suffered horrific deaths at drilling sites in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Now we know the death toll is up to 13 workers — and that number is likely to increase as more information trickles out about accidents that occurred in 2012, a year of intense drilling activity in the shale region south of San Antonio.

It’s even harder to track the injuries. Unless they show up on emergency scanners, no one knows about the injuries.

The cliché “time is money” is Bible-truth at rig sites, and the rush to get the job done is often an underlying cause of many oilfield accidents, Ammons said.

If they are in such haste that people’s lives and limbs mean nothing, is it realistic to believe they will take care with our water and air?

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. ben rudd says

    I work in the Eagle Ford Shale and just left the Bakken in ND. We know the risk when we take the job and are well compensated in our weekly paycheck. I choose to take the risk as did the ones who have died.

    • says

      Your statement may be true for you but it’s not true for many of the workers. The risks are downplayed and workers are put in danger needlessly. They are lied to about protective gear. Many EFS workers are trying to get fair pay.

  2. Jarred says

    Although the coal mines are much more hailed for the danger and sacrifice of the men who work in them, anyone such as myself working in the oilfield extracting services knows that it is just as dangerous and any coal mine, or anything else for that matter. The oilfield requires tough individuals that care more about providing for their family and making something of themselves, than insuring safety and settling for average. We are a different breed and one to be respected. Anyone working the oilfield needs the recognition they deserve. We know the statistics and danger of the job, and we choose to take that. That isn’t something any of you should judge especially those of you too lazy to work with us. There are many stereotypes about us roughnecks but te truth is we are simply harder workers most of which didn’t get your opportunities but chose to take the risk and hard work to provide the same quality of life for our families as any upper class worker who has never seen real work. Moral: we know the risk, we take it and provide for a better life than we could’ve ever hoped for to our families. This is to be respected not criticized or judged by anyone, especially inherited millionaires who will never understand the the value of a dollar or the work that goes into getting it for yourself rather than reaching out a greedy hand and receiving

    • says

      Not everyone who works for industry agrees with you. I am contacted often by industry workers who want their jobs to be safer and who want to work with us to help make their jobs safer. The only reason to advocate for status quo on worker safety is if you are an employer afraid that worker safety will cost you.

      Respect begets respect. When workers come onto people’s property with no respect for their property and privacy, when they pee and defecate on their property and throw trash everywhere, when noise, dust and fumes bombard them day and night, how does that command respect?

      I generally like to work with oilfield workers because I know they have a very hard job but your rantings are crazy.

  3. says

    A site like this is sickening, it’s okay to disagree with the oilfield. But when you sorry draining the gas from your cars gas tank, drain the oil from the engine, grind off all the paint, and take off your tires. Now that you are oilfield service free, you may bitch. But always be sure you are not a hipocrite. We know the dangers going in and choose to work anyway, do not incriminate those with more courage than you when you don’t know the motivation to their bravery. Calling them ignorant to the risk is an insult and they should be hailed, not shunned.