SHARE

One hundred thirty-five oil and gas workers in the United States were killed last year on the job, compared with 112 in 2011 and 102 in 2010.

But overall employment in the segment rose sharply to about 57,000. up from 50,000 in 2011 and 42,000 in 2010.

Employment in the sector hit its highest level in 2012 since the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics began tracking it in 1992.

Non-fatal accidents hit 2,600 last year, a steep jump from 2010, when 1,400 non-fatal accidents were recorded.

The oil and gas sector remains one of the safest industries for U.S. workers, based on the average of nonfatal injuries for all private industries.

“That underscores the industry’s safety culture, which John Snawder, a research toxicologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said is regarded with a ‘big, giant, capital’s,’ ” according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

The agriculture, fishing and forestry occupations have higher fatality rates than the oil and gas industry, the report said.

Forty percent of the fatal oil and gas accidents were transportation accidents, the Post -Gazette said. “About half of the workers involved in crashes were not wearing a seat belt,” according to an external report.

Research has also shown a rise in deaths of older workers, more falls from height, and fires and explosions.