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Occupational Fatalities Resulting from Falls in the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry, United States, 2005–2014
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  • Pubmed ID:
    28448481
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5657637
  • Description:
    During 2003-2013, fatality rates for oil and gas extraction workers decreased for all causes of death except those associated with fall events, which increased 2% annually during 2003-2013 (1). To better understand risk factors for these events, CDC examined fatal fall events in the oil and gas extraction industry during 2005-2014 using data from case investigations conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Sixty-three fatal falls were identified, accounting for 15% of all fatal events. Among fatal falls, 33 (52%) workers fell from a height of >30 feet (9 meters), and 22 (35%) fell from the derrick board, the elevated work platform located in the derrick (structure used to support machinery on a drilling rig). Fall fatalities occurred most frequently when drilling rigs were being assembled or disassembled at the well site (rigging up or rigging down) (14; 22%) or when workers were removing or inserting drill pipe into the wellbore (14; 22%). Measures that target derrickmen and workers engaged in assembling and disassembling drilling rigs (rigging up and down) could reduce falls in this industry. Companies should annually update their fall protection plans and ensure effective fall prevention programs are in place for workers at highest risk for falls, including providing trainings on proper use, fit, and inspection of personal protective equipment.

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