What Is the Most Common Oil Rig Injury?
The oil and gas industry is well-known for offering high-paying jobs. This may be appealing to many people. However, contrary to popular belief, it's not an easy way to gain money. There are so many risks that come with a job in the oil and gas industry. Accidents and injuries are some of them.
How Common Are Accidents and Injuries in the Oil and Gas Industry?
According to the Washington Post, oil and gas workers are about seven times more likely to be killed on the job than the average worker. This proves that the oil and gas industry brings significant risks to its workers.
During their work, oil and gas employees often encounter hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, dealing with harsh weather conditions, and managing heavy machinery and equipment. They also frequently need to handle highly flammable materials that can generate heat or spark quickly.
Furthermore, workers in oil and gas rigs frequently work long hours, so they may become more prone to fatigue. This can impair their judgment and increase the chance of an accident. In addition, offshore oil rigs are often located far from medical facilities. It makes it more difficult for them to seek immediate care if they're not in good condition. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on what the average semi-truck accident settlement in Texas is.
Common Causes of Accidents on Offshore Oil Rigs
Here are some of the common causes of oil rig accidents:
Working on an inshore or offshore oil rig is already dangerous. Without proper training, the risk of accidents will only increase. Sadly, this still happens a lot. Employers often do not give their workers sufficient training and knowledge about handling their jobs.
The equipment and machinery used on an oil rig are usually heavy and complex. If not handled properly, they can be dangerous. Therefore, this equipment must be handled carefully to prevent malfunctions.
Without proper training, oil and gas workers may not know how to prevent mishandling and malfunctions. Also, they will be unable to protect themselves from these risks or respond in an emergency.
Even the slightest malfunction in any of the oil rig components can cause disaster. Mechanical faults can lead to explosions, chemical exposure, flying shrapnel, crane collapse, and other hazards.
Therefore, it is critical for operators of oil rigs to properly maintain their equipment to avoid something like this from happening. With regular maintenance, even if there's any potential issue with the equipment, it might be discovered early, so operators can fix it before the problem gets more serious.
Oil rigs are frequently placed in places prone to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, storms, and lightning. These kinds of weather can damage the equipment of an offshore oil rig in the long run, increasing the chance of mechanical faults and malfunctions.
Among all weather conditions, lightning is especially dangerous for oil rig workers because it can lead to explosions once it strikes a sensitive location at the wrong time. The same goes for high winds and other extreme weather conditions. They have a high possibility of endangering employees by making it harder to maintain stability on the offshore oil rig.
Lack of Safety Procedures
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required oil and gas companies to provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) to help avoid serious injuries. This includes hard helmets, eye protection, and respiratory protection.
Furthermore, OSHA recommends that employers regularly monitor their equipment to prevent possible dangers. However, these regulations might not always be adequate. Therefore, employers need to take extra care in ensuring their workers' safety.
The Most Common Oil and Gas Rig Accidents and Injuries
These are some of the most common oil rig injuries:
Explosions and Fires
Although an explosion might be considered uncommon compared to other accidents, it is one of the most lethal. The chance of workers surviving an oil rig explosion is so small because oil rig explosions tend to be massive.
On an oil rig, workers do a lot of welding, drilling, and other activities that can easily spark a fire. While these activities should be safe if done carefully with proper protective gear, sometimes, an unexpected problem can arise, such as a well blowout.
This happens when oil or gas escapes from a well, causing an uncontrolled release of pressure. If it's not taken care of immediately and effectively, the gas could react with the fire and cause explosions.
Another activity that makes an oil rig prone to explosion is swabbing. This involves drilling to release pressure from the well and remove the excess fracking fluid. In the swabbing process, explosions and fires can happen if it's not done correctly.
Many activities in the oil industry also involve electricity. Drills and pumps, for example, are some of the tools that run on electricity to work.
Because of this, live wires can be found everywhere, increasing the risk of electrocution. This is something that oil companies and workers must pay extra attention to and avoid.
Electrocution can happen when workers come into touch with the live wires. It can also occur when there's a malfunction in the electrical systems. Even something as simple as a frayed, broken, or tangled wire can cause a lot of damage if not repaired correctly.
One of the reasons falls often occurs on an oil rig is the fact that the working surface is often oily or wet. This makes it easy for workers to slip on.
Furthermore, due to the abundance of equipment and debris, these workers might easily trip over. It's also possible that they fall from a height due to improper fall protection systems.
Injuries from fall accidents can also be fatal. In the worst-case scenario, a fall can lead to paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, or even death. This is why proper safety measures are crucial to prevent fall accidents.
Dangerous Chemical Exposure
Exposure to harmful substances in the air is one of the significant health risks in the oil industry. As a result of the many activities involved in the drilling and processing of oil, the air on oil rigs is often contaminated with hazardous chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, a flammable gas that is denser than air and can cause a variety of health problems.
Hydrogen sulfide can particularly damage the central nervous system if people are exposed to it for prolonged periods of time. Since it is heavier than air, it tends to concentrate in low-lying areas, making it difficult to disperse.
However, hydrogen sulfide gas is not the only harmful substance that can be found on oil rigs. Other toxic compounds, such as benzene, are also present in oil and natural gas.
What Can Occur After Oil Rig Accidents?
An oil rig accident can result in various injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries. One of the common results is finger amputation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like, "How do oil rig accidents happen?"
It can happen when hands or fingers become trapped in heavy gear, equipment, or drilling machines. Another common injury is a bone fracture, which frequently occurs in falls or events that also involve heavy machinery.
Some of the most severe results of accidents oil rig accidents are traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. They can cause the victims to lose their bodily functions permanently, and they're irreversible. It's also not uncommon for these serious injuries to lead to death.
How to Get Compensation for an Oil Field Injury
Victims of oil rig accidents can get compensation in several ways. The first option is worker's compensation which they can get through their insurance claim. They will need to contact their employer and insurance company to report the case and get compensation. This option is the easiest one because the victim will be compensated regardless of who was at fault.
The compensation that the victim gets through their insurance should pay for necessary medical treatment and lost wages. However, the benefits are often inadequate to fully pay off the losses of an injured worker. There is another way for victims to get more compensation if the employer is genuinely at fault, and that is by bringing a third-party claim.
In such conditions, injured oil workers can sue the employer for lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as other losses they have suffered from. If death occurs, the surviving family members may also be compensated for their loved one's death.
To get full compensation, an oil rig accident victim should contact an oil rig accident lawyer in Dallas TX who will assist them throughout the legal procedures. An attorney will help the injured victim to report the case, collect evidence, speak on their behalf to defend them, and make sure the victim gets the compensation they deserve at all costs.
Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If someone is a victim of oil rig injuries, they shouldn't sit around and accept their losses when somebody else is genuinely responsible. Instead, they should contact an oil injury attorney to seek an option.
With the slogan, "We go to war for you," Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will guide the victim through each legal process and make sure to fight until the end so that they get the justice they deserve, no matter what it takes.