"With the expansion into a full area office, OSHA's experienced staff will be better able to provide safety and health information and outreach to workers and employers," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "Our Lubbock Area Office will serve 70 northwestern Texas counties with a population of more than 1.1 million people and cities, such as Amarillo, Abilene, Midland-Odessa and Lubbock."
Lubbock's population is expected to double by 2020 due to the increase in oil and gas exploration, drilling and servicing, and the discovery of lucrative gas shale in the Permian Basin and other areas. Population trends and an extensive workload have prompted OSHA to elevate its Lubbock location from a district office under the El Paso office, to an area office that will better serve workers and employers in northwestern Texas. In 2013, 22 workers in Texas lost their lives in the oil and gas industry; seven of these workers were in the Lubbock Area Office's jurisdiction.
The change in Lubbock's status from a district to an area office will include an increase in staff who will address the safety and health of high-risk construction workers, with an emphasis on Hispanic construction workers, who are statistically at greater risk of workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the Lubbock Area Office at 806-472-7681 or OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
(Press release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration)