In the early hours of December 19, 2014, an oil rig fire and explosion in Oklahoma injured three workers, two of them critically, and killed two others. According to Sam Schafnitt, the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal's Chief of Operations, the rig was roughly two miles west of Coalgate, OK, and 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City when the accident occurred. After the fire was extinguished, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators began trying to clarify exactly what caused the incident. Neither the employer, Dan D. Drilling, nor Pablo Energy, the Texas company that owns the rig, were available for comment. The victims are expected to seek representation by an oil rig accident attorney to protect their rights. Dangerous and Hazardous Employment The deadly Oklahoma oil rig explosion illustrates that oil rig workers have one of America's most dangerous and hazardous jobs. They typically work with highly combustible materials under dangerous conditions for 12 hour shifts that may continue for up to 14 days straight. Rigs are typically stationed several miles offshore, and although the Coast Guard is available to assist in emergencies, they are not close by. If the crew must abandon the rig, they do so using watertight life pods that are lowered into the water and can accommodate up to ten crew members. Once off the rig and in the water, the workers must wait for help to arrive. In a 2010 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Although 115 workers were rescued, 11 died. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 120 workers in the oil and gas industry had lost their lives that year, 21 of whom died while working in the oil and gas extraction business which includes those who work on offshore rigs. This explosion released millions of gallons of oil and the resulting oil spills inundated beaches all along the Gulf of Mexico, causing millions of dollars in economic damages to coastal businesses. Infrequent Occurrences With Deadly Consequences Oil rig accidents occur infrequently, but when they do, the consequences can be severe. Serious incidents can kill oil rig employees quickly and cost oil and gas companies millions of dollars. According to Greg McCormack, Director of the Petroleum Extension Service at the University of Texas, the oil and gas extraction business is a hazardous business, even though catastrophic events are unusual. Smaller oil rig incidents are more frequent. The Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, reported that during the first five months of 2009, there were almost 40 oil rig fires and explosions. Although these accidents were considered minor and caused no injuries, there is still concern that they even happened. A Risky Business Oil and gas extraction companies manage risk on a daily basis. A 2005 explosion killed 15 workers and injured many others at a Texas City, TX, refinery owned by the energy company British Petroleum (BP). OSHA has already issued millions of dollars in fines to BP, and David Michaels, Assistant Secretary for OSHA, points out that even incidents where no one is hurt are raising safety concerns because people could have been hurt. He added that OSHA is "very concerned that the oil industry is not making the investment needed to run these refineries safely and workers are paying for it with their lives." Meanwhile, Houston work injury lawyers together with work injury attorneys in other states defend the rights of those harmed or killed in oil rig accidents. Given that President Obama expanded U.S. offshore drilling and survey results collected by the Pew Research Center show that more than half of Americans support U.S. offshore drilling, oil companies would seem to have solid support. However, when serious accidents happen, opponents such as an injured party's oil rig accident lawyer are quick to point out that a lack of adequate safety measures is to blame for workers being injured or killed.