Jordan Wirfs-Brock

Jordan Wirfs-Brock is Inside Energy's data journalist.

Recent Posts

Wrangling Workplace Fatality Numbers: Data Woes And Wins

This is a schematic of NAICS codes for the mining industry. Oil and gas is highlighted in blue.

Workplace fatality data, specifically the data that goes into calculating workplace fatality rates, is quite possibly the most unruly data Inside Energy has wrangled yet. Not because it’s hard, but because it's nearly impossible to capture the full story of how dangerous the oil and gas industry is at a local level. Here are some of the biggest challenges involved in analyzing workplace fatality data. Continue Reading →

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Oil And Gas Worker Fatalities Down In 2013

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In 2013, 4,405 Americans died from workplace injuries, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 112 - or 2.5 percent - of them worked in the oil and gas industry in jobs like drilling and servicing wells, operating equipment, and machining parts. This represents a decrease in fatalities from last year, when 142 oil and gas workers died. In the past decade, fatalities have risen along with the oil and gas boom in the U.S.:

But in 2013, the number of fatalities decreased, even though the number of oil and gas workers continued to grow. And, with the exception of 2009 when the boom slowed due to the recession, 2013 represents the lowest fatality rate (deaths per 100,000 workers) in the past decade:

How does oil and gas compare to other industries? Continue Reading →

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If You Read Only One Story On Health And Fracking, Read This One

Anti-fracking activitists pose with "fracking flavoured" water outside the European Parliament. Image from Greensefa via Flickr, used with a Creative Commons Attribution License.

As communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development, for people who live near oil and gas wells, are there health risks?

Inside Energy met with scientists to learn how oil and gas drilling affects your health and to clarify the confusion.

Find out about what drilling means for water, air and your health, and how a new research collaboration is helping communities understand the risks and benefits of the drilling boom. Continue Reading →

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Saltwater Spills In North Dakota: Data Woes And Wins

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As oil booms in North Dakota, the rate of spills has been growing, Emily Guerin reported. Thousands of barrels of oil spill each year, but something more dangerous comes with it: saltwater. A by-product of oil extraction, saltwater can destroy farmland for years. Finding detailed data on saltwater spills - more than 800 happened in North Dakota in the past year - was hard. Really hard. Continue Reading →

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