Image courtesy of Michael Gil/Flickr.

While the dangers of working on the oil patch are well known, transporting equipment and even wastewater poses its own risks.

According to an investigation conducted by News 9 and the Frontier, at least 36 people died in crashes involving trucks carrying wastewater and oilfield equipment between 2007 and 2013.

Another 54 people have been injured in truck accidents over the past two years, News 9 added.

The investigation also found that 7 percent of truck companies licensed in Oklahoma to haul wastewater and oilfield equipment have suffered lethal accidents, with nine of those companies recording two fatal accidents each.

While some of the accidents were caused by mechanical failures such as brake problems, other crashes were caused by trucks hauling too much weight.

In one case included in the report, an Oklahoma man suffered traumatic brain damage after a truck slammed into his car while weighing in at 6,000 pounds over the legal limit, News 9 said.

The number of fatal truck accidents is still dwarfed by the number of deadly incidents on the oil patch itself.

Between 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job, a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

From 2003 to 2011, the latest year that data is available, the number of fatal occupational injuries in the private oil and gas industries ranged from as high as 125 in 2006 to as low as 68 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Texas recorded the highest number of fatalities, followed by Oklahoma and Louisiana, the BLS added.


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