Dreaming of a well-paying job in the fracking industry? Think twice.
While jobs in fracking may offer high pay, they come at a price. A worker may get a job — and never be able to work again. Workers are often the first to be exposed to the hazards that later affect the whole community.
There are three health and safety areas that affect fracking workers:
1) Chemical exposures. NIOSH is only beginning to investigate, and it is hard to pinpoint cause and effect, because companies disclose only a small part of the chemicals they use. However, injured workers are beginning to speak out: https://www.facebook.com/GasVets. These workers are finally finding one another and determining that there is a pattern to their severe illnesses.
Randy Moyer of Portage PA was disabled by exposure to chemicals and radiation. He states emphatically that fracking must be stopped. His symptoms are painful rashes, headaches, migraines, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, back and leg pains, blurred vision, vertigo, memory loss, white noise in his ears, and difficulties breathing. Footage of his and others’ testimony will soon be available in Tompkins County.
The chemical exposure issues are also of concern to first responders.
2) Exposure to sand dust. http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/OSHA_NIOSH-Hazard-Alert.pdf
3) Trucking and machinery accidents. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/11/fracking-safety-north-dakota
Thus the claims that fracking could even temporarily provide good jobs must be met with skepticism.