NIOSH Database of Fatal Events in the U.S. Oil and Gas Extraction Industry

Understanding how, why, and to whom a fatal work-related injury occurs is an early step in preventing further deaths.

To further that understanding and the prevention of work-related fatalities, a new database at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) collects detailed information about fatal events in the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry.

The Fatalities in Oil and Gas Extraction (FOG) database provides researchers, industry safety and health professionals, and other stakeholders with critical information for targeted prevention efforts.

NIOSH developed and began populating the FOG database in 2013. The next year, the institute published its first FOG report, which identified the assembly and disassembly of drilling or well-servicing rigs as the types of operations most commonly associated with fatal events.

The FOG database also helped to identify and describe a previously uncharacterized hazard in the oil and gas extraction industry: fatalities associated with breathing dangerous hydrocarbon gases or vapors. By identifying this and other trends, the FOG database informs research aimed at protecting oil and gas extraction workers.

The FOG database includes work-related fatalities among land-based and offshore oil and gas extraction workers in the United States, as well as fatalities among workers in other industries who were working in the oil and gas extraction industry at the time of death.

Information sources for the database include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, other government agencies, media alerts, and professional contacts.

NIOSH will continue to collect and analyze data contained in the FOG database and will share identified trends to prevent additional fatalities in the industry.