As the natural gas industry in West Virginia continues to increase, so to do deaths on the job according to new federal government data.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 West Virginia oil and gas workers died between 2008 and 2012, which is more than double the previous amount from 2004 to 2008. In addition, the Chemical Safety Board conducted a study that found 1,285 incidents at drilling sites that either resulted in injuries, worker deaths, evacuation orders for residents or damage of more than $500,000 to the sites or environment.

A large reason for the increase in deaths is due to the recent increase of natural gas production in West Virginia and the even more recent rush to tap into the Marcellus Shale reserves. Many of these injuries and fatalities are due to the use of heavy equipment, inexperienced workers, long work shifts, and sometimes dangerous chemicals. Oil and gas companies will often bring on inexperienced workers because the demand for employees has surpassed the number and availability of experienced crew members. These inexperienced workers are often sent to work in harsh conditions with heavy machinery and unfamiliar tools. Employees of the oil and gas industry are also under great pressure to complete these jobs at a fast pace, and as a result, end up working 12 or more hour shifts for weeks without receiving a day off. One of the biggest hazards in the industry are flammable vapors in confined areas, such as a tank, that can be ignited during maintenance, causing fires and explosions.

West Virginia is not alone in seeing an increase in workplace injuries and deaths in the natural gas field.  According to recent data, Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania have all seen increases in worker fataliteis.  Only one state that is actively engaged in energy production, Wyoming, has seen a decrease in worker deaths.  This decline is likely attributable to a state-sponsored effort to reduce workplace fatalities.

When large corporations end up putting profits before their workforce, corners are often cut, leading to carelessness that can cause serious injuries or death.  Unfortunately, most of the serious injuries and deaths that do occur can be prevented with better safety preparation and awareness.  If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of working in the natural gas fields, the attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group can help.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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