Page 14 - Texas811 Magazine 2021 Issue 4
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Taking Care of Our Own - Texas Oilfield Angels By Tina Sanders
Oil and gas play an important role in our Texas economy. According to a Texas Oil and Gas Association report, in one year alone the industry paid $13.8 billion in taxes and royalties which went towards Texas schools, roads and emergency services.
Extreme working conditions and long work hours can make working in
this industry potentially dangerous,
so oil and gas companies have developed robust safety and equipment maintenance programs and strive
to provide their employees with extensive safety training opportunities. Unfortunately, even with these safety practices in place, injuries and fatalities still happen. Data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which includes injury and fatality information for the oil and gas extraction industries,
shows the number of fatal work injury cases from this sector was 29 percent higher in 2017 than in 2016, rising to 81 from 63.
Thankfully, in partnership with other industry stakeholders, there are groups like the Texas Oilfield Angels (TOA),
a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation created to give back to the industry by providing financial assistance to injured or fatally injured oilfield workers and/ or their families. Since their inception in 2014, the TOA has paid out over $600,000 to over 130 oilfield families
in need due to illness, injury or death. To finance the charitable program, the TOA holds two fund raising events every year; the Spring Crawfish Boil and the Fall People’s Choice Cook-Off. Over the past few years, Texas811 and the Damage Prevention Council of Texas have been honored to sponsor
the Backhoe Rodeo and speak at these events which feature fun for the whole family including great food, healthy competition, live and silent auctions, and even a petting zoo!
The ‘split-pot’ Backhoe Rodeo is a great addition to the family friendly Crawfish Boil, not only does it help raise
money for the TOA cause; it also gives Texas811 and the East Texas Chapter
of the Damage Prevention Council of Texas the opportunity to share our damage prevention and safe excavation messages while backhoe operators showcase their skills through healthy competition. The event isn’t just limited to experienced operators, it’s also an opportunity for the general public ages 5 and up to experience the thrill of operating a piece of heavy machinery under the expert guidance of qualified volunteers from companies such as
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