In the oil and gas industry, workers face a range of hazards that can result in several types of injuries. In many circumstances, the law may provide monetary compensation for the injury and related damages like lost wages.
How Do These Injuries Occur?
From 2007 to 2011, a total of 529 fatal injuries occurred in the oil and gas industries. Texas recorded the highest number of fatalities, followed by Oklahoma and Louisiana. In addition to these fatalities, many non-fatal injuries occurred with often life-altering consequences. Specific injury types are prevalent and statistical data sheds light on the risks faced by workers in this industry.
- Falls: A leading cause of injury on oil rigs, often resulting in broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
- Electrical hazards: Exposed or faulty electrical equipment can cause electrocution, internal injuries, cardiac arrest, and thermal burns.
- Fires and explosions: Due to the presence of flammable materials, incidents can result in burns, smoke inhalation, traumatic injuries, and long-term respiratory problems.
- Struck-by incidents: Heavy machinery, falling objects, or moving parts can cause fractures, crush injuries, internal injuries, or even fatalities.
- Long-term health effects: Exposure to hazardous materials can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritations, neurological disorders, and even an increased risk of certain cancers.
Falls account for a substantial number of incidents. They remain a leading cause of injuries on oil rigs. Falls can occur from heights, such as elevated platforms or derricks, or due to slips and trips on slippery surfaces. They result in broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Electrical hazards pose another significant risk on oil rigs. Exposed or faulty electrical equipment can cause electrocution or severe burns to workers. Electrical-related incidents account for a substantial portion of injuries in the oil and gas industry. They cause electric shock, internal injuries, cardiac arrest, and thermal burns.
Fires and Explosions
Fires and explosions remain a constant concern for oil rigs due to the presence of flammable materials. When ignition sources encounter oil or gas, catastrophic incidents can occur, leading to severe injuries or fatalities. Fires and explosions account for a sizable portion of fatal work injuries in the oil and gas extraction industry. They result in burns, smoke inhalation, traumatic injuries, and long-term respiratory problems.
Struck-by incidents also pose a significant risk to oil rig workers. Heavy machinery, falling objects, or moving parts can cause fractures, crush injuries, internal injuries, or even fatalities. Proper training, adherence to safety protocols, and the use of personal protective equipment can help reduce the occurrence of these injuries.
Long-Term Health Effects
Long-term health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous materials are a growing concern in the oil and gas industry. Workers on oil rigs may encounter toxic chemicals, gases, and other hazardous substances, which can have detrimental effects on their health. Prolonged exposure to these materials can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritations, neurological disorders, and even an increased risk of certain cancers.
Prioritizing Employee Safety
Employers must prioritize safety measures and implement effective risk management strategies. This includes conducting thorough hazard assessments, providing appropriate safety training, ensuring regular equipment inspections, and promoting a safety culture among workers. Ongoing monitoring and medical surveillance programs can help identify and address long-term health effects resulting from hazardous exposures.
In conclusion, specific injury types are prevalent in the oil rig industry. The oil industry can avoid these injuries by prioritizing safety. Employers hold a duty to protect oil workers and mitigate the risks they face in this challenging industry. Injured workers should seek the advice of experienced lawyers to advise them whether the law provides them with monetary compensation. An experienced trial lawyer who has won big cases against oil companies can increase an injured worker’s chance of success.