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Oil refinery fatal accidents and Texas workers

Many Texas residents are employed in the oil industry, some of whom work at one of the state's several oil refineries. The jobs are relatively high-paying, drawing numerous workers who risk serious injury in their jobs. Because those in this occupation necessarily work around explosive and hazardous materials as well as around heavy machinery, these workplaces are particularly dangerous by the nature of the work required.

Researchers have long indicated the difficulty of determining how many oil refinery workers are killed each year. Part of the problem is that oil companies tend to contract out the most dangerous jobs at their work sites, leading to resulting deaths being classified within different industry types by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The 2005 British Petroleum blast in Texas City resulted in 15 worker deaths, all of whom were contract workers. Still, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics did not begin tracking deaths of contract workers at oil refineries until 2011, resulting in skewed oil refinery fatal accident data. By poring over extensive government data, researchers have determined that at least 64 workers were killed in oil refinery accidents in the 10 years previous to the Texas City explosion, while at least 58 have died since that accident's occurrence. This data underscores just how dangerous oil refinery work can be as well as the need for employers to do more to ensure their workers' safety.

Industrial workers' accidents are far too common around the country. Some work is inherently more dangerous and thus requires the implementation of additional safety measures. When a worker is killed in an industrial accident, family members may be left struggling with income losses and associated expenses in addition to their grief. They may want to consult with a workers' compensation attorney about the benefits that may be available.

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