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Injuries on the rise in oilpatch

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. -- Alberta Workplace Health and Safety (AWHS) is predicting that nearly twice as many lost-ti...


GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Alberta Workplace Health and Safety (AWHS) is predicting that nearly twice as many lost-time accidents will take place this year in the oil and gas industry.

AWHS spokesman, Chris Chodan, says that the provincial rate will likely be as much as five lost-time accidents per 100 person-years woekd, up from 3.4 last year.

"I’d say that suggests there’s room for improvement. It’s no an industry that’s manifestly unsafe, although there is the odd employer where that is the case," says Chodan.

His comments come on the heels of a series of fatal accidents involving oil rigs over the course of the year.

Industry observers suggest that there’s a lack of experience in the oilfield, since the ongoing expansion is requiring more workers than there are available. Twenty-six per cent of lost-time injuries happen during an employees first six months on the job while 40 per cent occur within the first year.

Stats are kept on injuries that result from oilfield service rigs and oilfield drilling rigs. While both are higher than the all-industry average, it’s the service rigs that seem to be posing the biggest danger.


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