The US oil and gas industry generates billions of dollars in revenue. However, those who work in the oilfields are exposed to a great deal of risk. Gas explosions, falls from heights, and leakage of toxic chemicals lead to numerous accidents and injuries every year. Oilfield accidents not only hurt the workers that are involved, but can also affect people in the surrounding areas.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an oil rig accident, you could be entitled to obtain full compensation for your medical bills, current and future pain and suffering, and loss of income. Acquainting yourself with some common oilfield accidents may serve as a protection while working in the field.
Here are some of the most common causes of oilfield accidents:
Vapors released from the drilling process may cause extreme pressure. The pressure may eventually become too much for the containers to hold, leading to explosions. Generally, anti-pressure equipment is fitted on the vessels to avert any such accident. Explosions also occur when welding devices come in contact with combustible elements in the air, thereby leading to gas fire.
If a worker is not familiar with the machinery that is used, it may lead to dangerous accidents. Even a minor mistake may escalate into a major oilfield accident, putting everyone at risk. Employers need to provide adequate training to ensure quality safety protocols. Quick instincts coupled with adequate training can reduce the frequency of injuries in the oilfield industry.
Oilfield fires are usually the result of pressurized gas escaping and getting in contact with sparks. Moreover, due to the high volumes of fuel, it gets difficult to extinguish fires. Burn injuries in oilfields can be more dangerous because of the size and intensity of the fire.
Work in the oilfield requires the use of large and complex machinery. Thus, proper maintenance of oilfield equipment is of utmost importance. It can prevent a number of dangerous accidents. Equipment failure may also lead to numerous other issues such as:
- Malfunctioning machinery
- Corroded pipes and valves
- Worn out cables
- Loose tongs
Oil rig failure may end up pitching sharp and dangerous metallic pieces in the air at high speed. Thus, oilfield employees are required to always wear their helmets to prevent severe head injuries.
Overworked and exhausted workers:
Sleepy or fatigued workers are 70% more likely to get involved in accidents than alert individuals. Unfortunately, the accommodations provided to offshore workers make it difficult for them to get quality sleep. Lack of any privacy, too much noise etc. impact the quality of relaxation. Thus, oilfield workers face the risk of fatigue.
Employees are regularly exposed to harmful chemicals. Workers who are exposed to such chemicals may develop problems related to the lungs, skin, and other organs depending on the duration of exposure. Offshore workers exposed to hazardous noise levels may also develop hearing loss.
Hydrogen sulfide is found in natural gas wells, pipelines and refineries and it can irritate the lungs, nose, throat, and eyes. Exposure to high levels of hydrogen sulfide can get dangerous with little prior warning. Only instant first aid can help revive the victim. In situations where there’s hydrogen sulfide leakage, it’s mandatory to get the area evacuated immediately.
Oilfield work is dangerous as it involves combustible pipes, pressurized wells, high speed machinery, and flammable liquid. If there’s a defective or poorly maintained valve, it may lead to devastating accidents, serious injuries, and in worst cases, even death.
Parties Represented by Personal Injury Lawyer Receive Nearly 3.5 Times More Money in a Settlement Than Those Without an Attorney.
– Insurance Research Council Study 2004
Steps to Take After an Oilfield Accident
Working in the oilfield industry is inherently dangerous. Victims of oilfield accidents miss time from work to get medical treatment. After an accident, medical bills could also become burdensome for the family.
If you get injured in an oilfield accident, you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess are adept at pursuing justice for hardworking oilfield workers who may get injured for no fault of their own. They can also provide you with adequate insights into the complexities of filing a lawsuit and help you get the right amount of compensation.
Our legal representatives have more than two decades of experience in handling and resolving complicated oilfield accident cases.