Working in a grain elevator is a hazardous occupation. In fact OSHA has made the industry an area of emphasis on a national basis, according to the agency's director for the Billings area. The director says it is not unusual for grain elevators to be found in noncompliance with OSHA safety regulations.
Construction work can be very hazardous. Statistically, falls are the leading cause of fatal accidents in the construction industry. Roofing workers are among the most at risk. Recently the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would issue a citation to a Missoula roofing and remodeling contractor for not reporting a fatal fall at a worksite within eight hours, as required by law. The company has been cited in the past for unsafe working conditions.
Over the past few years quite a few Montana workers have found good-paying jobs in the oil fields. Unfortunately, the work is hazardous and some workers have paid for those jobs with their lives. Another such tragedy took place recently when a 32-year-old North Dakota man was killed at a drilling site near Killdeer.
Working in a factory can be a dangerous way to make a living. The proximity of workers to heavy machinery can lead to injuries and even death. Recently a 28-year-old woman was killed in an on-the-job accident at a sugar processing factory in Lovell, Wyoming. According to a news report, the woman died after falling into some industrial equipment at the plant, which is owned by a co-op that has operations in Montana.
In Montana and other states that sit atop the Bakken oil fields, workplace injuries have been an unwanted byproduct of the oil boom. Worker inexperience is part of the problem. Statistics show that in the oil and gas industry, the greatest number of injury claims are filed by workers who have been on the job for less than a year. But at least one expert believes the boom has hit the point that workers now have enough experience, on average, that workplace injuries will start to decrease.
The oil fields of the Bakken Shale have provided good-paying jobs for a lot of Montana workers. But those jobs have come with a downside, as many oil field work accident victims and their families can testify. Oil field work is hazardous and unforgiving. And sometimes it can be fatal. The latest death occurred recently at a well in Toole County, north of Kevin, Montana.