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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

What Is the Most Common Oil Rig Injury? | Full Overview

The oil and gas industry is one of the most lucrative ones in the country. Not only does it earn plenty of money for companies, but it also offers many job opportunities to people every year.

Even though the oil industry seems like an excellent place to work, it's also exposed to many workplace hazards. Some people even consider oil rigs to be some of the most dangerous job areas in the world.

Due to the working conditions in some of these oil rigs, it's common to get injured. Even skilled workers could face serious injuries if they aren't working somewhere safe.

Those who got into an oil rig accident should seek justice for all the damages caused. In these cases, hiring a reputable attorney will be the worker's best shot at getting compensated. It's also important to understand what the most common oil rig injuries are to ensure the victim builds an airtight case.

This page covers some of the most common oilfield injuries someone can experience, as well as what circumstances can cause them. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for more information on who's at fault in spilled cargo accidents.

Why Are Oilfield Workers So Exposed to Potential Injuries?

Why Are Oilfield Workers So Exposed to Potential Injuries?

The main reason why oil rig workers are so exposed to injuries is that the workplace itself tends to be dangerous. One of the most common causes of injuries in oil rigs is slips and falls. Not keeping decks in a good, dry condition can cause workers to sustain severe injuries.

Unfortunately, slips and falls aren't the only accidents that happen in oil rigs. Other factors like defective equipment, improper training, and natural disasters are likely to cause a catastrophic event. This is why it's so important for oil companies to take as many measures as possible to ensure there aren't as many injured oil workers over the years.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in the Oil and Gas Industry?

It can be complicated to argue which is the most common injury in an oil rig, as everything depends on each working environment. Usually, the most common oil rig accidents involve slips and falls, meaning that the injuries more likely to happen include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Broken bones

  • Head injuries

  • Back injuries

However, these aren't the only injuries that can happen in gas industries. Depending on the circumstances, these are the most common injuries sustained in oil rig jobs:

  • Crushing injuries

  • Chemical burns

  • Burns from fires, electrocutions, and explosions

  • Concussions

  • Lacerations

  • Hearing and vision loss

  • Amputations

  • Puncture wounds

  • Lung damage

  • Soft tissue/muscle injuries

Even though not all of these injuries are life-threatening, they can still affect the person's life severely. Besides following safety procedures, workers need to get the necessary training before going into the oil rig.

What Are the Common Causes of Oil Rig Accidents?

Oil rig accidents can happen due to a wide variety of reasons. From improper training or signage to company negligence, oil and gas industry workers are often exposed to potentially dangerous circumstances that can lead to devastating injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help with questions such as How do oil rig accidents happen?

Here's a list of the most common causes of oil field accidents:

Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals

Most workers are exposed to a wide variety of toxic fumes and hazardous chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide gas. Everyone should be equipped with high-quality gas masks and protective gear to avoid getting into contact with these chemicals.

Otherwise, victims can experience respiratory problems, chemical burns, allergic reactions, and more.

Transportation Accidents

Many workers will likely be operating heavy machinery and lifting heavy loads during their schedule. In these cases, the person should wear support items to avoid accidents, such as back braces or belts.

In less severe cases, the person could experience sprains or herniated discs. Worst-case scenarios, however, could involve disability, long-term pain, and crushing accidents that lead to fatalities.

It's also important for oil companies to provide safe vehicles for the workers, such as trucks and aircraft. Not maintaining these vehicles in good working order could lead to a severe accident.

Fires and Explosions

Fires and explosions are among the deadliest accidents that can happen in an oil rig. These platforms often involve plenty of flammable oils and gases. It's not uncommon for workers to get burned while operating in these areas.

Oil companies must provide the necessary equipment and fire safety inspections from time to time to reduce the likelihood of an accident. A burn can cause severe problems like disfigurement and loss of limbs.

On the other hand, an explosion could cause the worker's death.

Faulty Equipment

Following up on the previous cause, companies and workers need to ensure that every piece of equipment in the oil rig is ready to be used even in extreme conditions. A common reason why workers get involved in accidents is that the companies don't bother to check the equipment from time to time.

Oil rig equipment is known for operating under high pressure most of the time. Not taking care of these items could make them more likely to fail and explode, leading to fatal injuries. It's also important not to try and make "cheap" maintenance labor on the machines. Not fixing equipment correctly could lead to other people getting injured when trying to use it again.

Slips and Falls

As mentioned previously, slips and falls are among the most common types of accidents involving oilfield workers. The main reason is that, due to the substances that workers have to deal with on a daily basis, it's common for decks to get wet and slippery.

Workers who don't pay attention while walking could lead to them falling and experiencing a fatal injury, especially if they fall from a high place. It's also the site manager's responsibility to keep decks as dry as possible.

Some oil companies don't invest in these measures in an effort to cut corners, but what they don't see is that a slip and fall injury could cause them even more financial losses if the family of the injured victim (or the victim) were to sue.

Improper Training and Ignoring Safety Procedures

Unfortunately, it's common for oil companies to not invest in thorough training for employees. Each facility has specific procedures to follow if someone wants to avoid getting into an accident. Moreover, each piece of equipment has a set of instructions that workers can't ignore.

Usually, workers are asked to work quickly and ignore safety precautions. If these people weren't trained correctly, a slight mistake could trigger a chain of events that lead to a catastrophic accident.

A popular accident involving a similar problem was the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The oil rig got several reports about faulty equipment, safety concerns, and other problems, which weren't taken care of. That led to a sudden burst of natural gas on April 20, 2010, which killed 11 people and caused the biggest oil spill in history.

Occupational Hazards Identified by OSHA

There are a few occupational safety hazards identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It's important to understand what those hazards are to avoid them whenever possible.

These hazards include:

  • Falls

  • Fires

  • Explosions

  • Vehicle collisions

  • Being stuck between heavy machinery

  • Mechanical/electrical hazards

  • Being in dangerous, confined spaces

What Can Oil and Gas Workers Do to Seek Compensation for Their Injuries?

What Can Oil and Gas Workers Do to Seek Compensation for Their Injuries?

An oil field injury can quickly become fatal for the worker. If the injury involved toxic chemicals or any other related factor, the victim could experience long-term effects that prevent them from living normal lives.

Thankfully, injured oil rig workers have the legal right to seek compensation if they believe the accident was caused due to the company's negligence. Considering that oil companies are "for-profit" entities, most injured workers won't receive the money they need to cover their medical expenses.

These companies often hire skilled lawyers to avoid paying too much money in an accident claim. This is why it's so important for workers to hire reputable Houston oil rig injury attorneys to help them. These experts can fight the oil company on the victim's behalf, ensuring a better chance of earning more money in compensation payouts.

There are many tricks that oil companies and their insurance companies use to avoid having to admit liability, and that's where the legal experts at Schuerger Shunnarah come in. By building the case with professionals who care, victims ensure they get the best strategy possible to seek justice and peace of mind for themselves and their families.

Bottom Line

The oil and gas industry offers many economic benefits to workers. Unfortunately, certain conditions and events may lead these workers to suffer from serious injuries.

It's not fair to have to pay for medical expenses and lost wages out of pocket, especially if the accident wasn't the victim's fault. In cases of wrongful death, it's devastating for the surviving family members to have financial stress on top of all the emotional pain they're experiencing.

The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to help oil rig accident victims fight for their rights and get them the compensation they deserve for what happened. With its legal motto "We Go to War for You," this law firm shows its commitment to giving victims the peace of mind they deserve during these troubling times.

Interested people can schedule a free case evaluation with the team today and choose the best course of action.


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