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INSTITUTE INDEX: Fracking's dangers for workers

Number of workers employed by the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry: 435,000

Percent of those workers employed by well servicing companies, including those that conduct hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for natural gas: almost 50

Occupational deaths in the oil and gas extraction industry from 2003 to 2003 2009 per 100,000 workers: 27.5

Number of times that rate exceeds the fatality rate for all U.S. workers: more than 7

Percent by which fatalities among oil and gas workers rose from 2003 to 2005, as the drilling boom accelerated: 15

Rank of highway crashes among the top causes of fatalities in the industry: 1

Number of oil and gas workers killed in highway crashes over the past decade: more than 300

Of the 648 oil and gas field worker deaths from 2003 to 2008 alone, portion that were due to highway crashes: 1/3

Portion of workplace fatalities accounted for by highway crashes across all industries in 2010: 1/5

Length of shifts in hours that oil and gas field workers are routinely pressured into working by employers who cite longstanding regulatory exemptions enjoyed by the industry: 20

The legal limit of workshifts for most commercial truckers, in hours: 14

Of the 2,200 oil and gas industry trucks inspected from 2009 to February 2012 by state police in Pennsylvania, the epicenter of the fracking boom, percent that were in such poor condition they had to be taken off the road: 40

Number of fracking sites where the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently collected air samples to evaluate worker exposure to crystalline silica, which is present in the "frac sand" used in the natural gas extraction process and causes silicosis (shown in X-ray above), an incurable lung disease: 11

Percent of the tested fracking sites where workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica exceed occupational health limits: 100

Percent of crystalline silica that typically makes up "frac sand": 100

Pounds of sand typically used to frack a single well: up to 4 million

Percent of the 116 air samples collected that exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit by a factor of 10 or more, rendering the use of half-mask air-purifying respirators insufficiently protective: 31

Date on which two workers were hurt in an explosion at a fracking tank site in Texas: 5/16/2012

Number of months before the explosion that the site's owner, Vann Energy Services LLC, was cited for 17 serious health and safety violations: 3

Date on which the AFL-CIO wrote a letter to federal labor officials expressing concern about serious safety and health risks faced by workers in the fracking industry and calling for better protections: 5/22/2012

Percent change in the number of drilling rigs from 2010 to 2011: +22

Percent change in the number of inspections at those work sites: -12

(Click on figure to go to source. X-ray showing lungs affected by silicosis by Gumersindorego via Wikipedia.)

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Ban Fracking

The extraction, explosion, injection, earthquaking, air polluting, silica dust inhaling, water fouling, animal suffering, nosebleed causing, infrastructure damaging, diesel spewing, pipeline leaking, compressor station exploding, family and neighbor relation destroying, ag land contaminating property devaluing ways of fracking (to name a few) far outweight the fact that it burns a little cleaner than coal.

A solar farm in Mojave desert is $3 billion to build same for a new coal plant that produces the same amount of energy. $15 billion for nuclear. Solar, unlike the other two is free to run on the sun, and once up provides power for free. The other two require running around fouling our planet chasing finite dirty fuel that creates global warming.

Think about it... the more you know about fracking, the more you will oppose it. It doesn't make sense. Choose solar. in 8 years Germany will be 100% powered by renewables. In 8 years the Chinese will have made so much money on fracking while polluting our country... who gets the last laugh?

comments about Arlington TX gas well land

The drilling industry needs to choke back well in low price times, use electric rigs, invent technology to prevent silica dust from leaving the drill sites (like this article reports), show water and soil tests from mud farming are NOT going into our storm drains and produce, put scrubbers on open hatch flowback tanks, and use Green Completion systems NOW and not 2.5 yrs later when the EPA mandate takes effect, then they only have to guarantee that the cement casings won’t rot, and that the steel casings can withstand earthquakes, and that the injection wells will not eventually migrate and contaminate our ground water….nevermind the human errors/accidents from the huge build out that “is not” an acceptable amount because they can’t find willing sacrifical lambs!!! We live in BarnettShaleHell here in Ft Worth and Arlington TX. They cannot undrill those wells, unpollute the water, unpollute the air, and they cannot give back those wasted minerals that they extracted at the wrong market price just to keep production up to pay back some bad loans they made.——

Fracking Dangers for Workers

Thank you so much for this entry. Just found your institute, and this is a great intro! I dissemminate information for organizers who are speaking with townsfolk in southern Upstate New York, about the dangers of letting fracking into New York. This will be a fouunt of answers for people who look forward to the pleasures of working on hydrofracking rigs, sadly.

Dwain Wilder, poet-rabble-rouser,
Librarin, FrackFreeGenesee.com

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