Labor Secretary Thomas Perez Intends to Turn Up the Heat on the Oil and Gas Industry

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Just last week, the U.S. Department of Labor released numbers regarding workplace fatalities. On the positive side, the overall numbers decreased, but numbers for the oil and gas industry rose dramatically (up 23%) in 2012. The newly appointed Secretary stated: "Job gains in oil and gas and construction have come with more fatalities and that is unacceptable." https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=24603

Under the Obama Administration, inspection numbers and larger penalties have steadily crept up. https://www.osha.gov/dep/2010_enforcement_summary.html It is expected that Secretary Perez will expand these numbers by encouraging higher numbers of inspections and larger penalties. What does this mean for the oil and gas industry? The industry is on Perez' radar. Now is the time to review workplace safety and health practices. Once OSHA arrives, it may be too late to avoid being made an example of OSHA's increased enforcement efforts.