You are here: home   Issues   Rural Education 2.0   Risky business

Risky business

Document Actions

I worked in the oil fields in the mid-1950s, so I have some direct knowledge of what that work and the workers were like — 15 years before OSHA was born.

I’m sure that all the facts in the article are true (and I hate what all those rigs are doing to the land) but I question some of the article’s conclusions (HCN, 4/2/07). I would appreciate a follow-up article that puts the death and injury rate in the energy fields into some perspective.

What is the death rate in other comparable heavy industries where men run immense and powerful machines, such as shipbuilding or construction? When mistakes happen with those machines, it can take only seconds for someone to get very badly hurt.

And what are the rates of death for the same group of men when they are off the job, where a big bad corporation or lax state regulation has no responsibility for their injuries? I have seen oil workers take a lot of risks, both on and off the job, and your article’s mention of D.J. Maser Jr.’s black eyes that he got in a fistfight, the Iriberrys not wearing seat belts, and the widespread use of meth are all pretty good indications that these workers are still risk-takers half a century after my personal experience. Risk-takers tend to get hurt more often, whether on or off the job.

The statistics may be lousy there, too, but they would offer some useful comparisons, and probably soften some of the article’s conclusions and implications.

Steve Andreas
> Boulder, Colorado >

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. Closure of federal sheep facility would be a victory for grizzlies |
  3. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  4. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  5. Colorado water users gird for first statewide plan |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone