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Mining Sand for Fracking Causes Worker Safety Concerns

Mining Sand for Fracking Causes Worker Safety Concerns

The energy industry is booming, and with it, new methods for extracting oil and natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing – a process of pumping a high pressure mixture of water, chemicals, and sand to break up rock formations and extract oil and natural gas – has become incredibly profitable, common, and controversial. The process of mining for sand, however, has come under scrutiny for various worker safety concerns, according to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal.

Since fracking has become increasingly popular, the number of companies that mine, refine, and transport sand to energy companies throughout the nation have increased. Notable statistics for sand use in the energy industry include:

  • Sand use has increased 25% since 2011
  • Over the next two years, sand use is expected to rise 20%
  • Union Pacific Railroad shipped 94,000 railcars of sand in the first half of the year
  • High demand for sand last year resulted in an average price of $75 per metric ton
  • This year alone, energy companies are expected to use 56.3 billion pounds of sand

Safety Concerns

For many local residents, advocates, and government agencies, the sand boom is causing concerns for workers and nearby communities. Many companies have come under scrutiny for airborne dust near mines, processing plants, and rail depots. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked silica dust to silicosis and lung cancer. Several companies have been cited, and one company – Pattison Sand Co. – has received 775 orders and citations, the most of any sand or gravel mine in the nation.

Fighting for Workers' Rights in Houston

Ultimately, the increasing scrutiny of sand mining, production, and transportation serve to highlight the many dangers within the energy industry. At The Daspit Law Firm, Attorney John Daspit has spent years handling cases involving energy, oil, and industrial issues. With his experience and insight, our legal team is prepared to represent workers who suffered job-related injuries or illnesses in any sector of Houston's booming energy industry.

For more information about filing a personal injury claim for work-related injuries and how our firm can help, call (713) 364-0915for a free legal consultation.