Oil drilling in Texas is a major part of the economy here. Offshore drilling and onshore drilling for crude oil plays a huge part in offering a stable industry for the local workforce, however it comes with its more than fair share of dangers. Blowouts can be one of the most common reasons for injury on an oil rig, as they can occur regardless of whether the oil rig is on land or offshore, and oftentimes can lead to serious burns, sometimes even fatal. Poor maintenance of applicable pipelines, as well as falls from great heights also attribute to the dangers of the oil rig profession.
COMMON OIL RIG ACCIDENTS
Maritime workers can suffer very debilitating injuries from oil rig accidents. Spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and a variety of other accidents have led to massive fines from OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration).
- Limbs caught in machinery
- Falls from derricks, platforms, hoists, unsecured ladders, slippery stairs
- Injury from improperly maintained equipment
- Crushing from heavy cargo or equipment
- Explosions and fires
- Being struck by swinging pipes or cables
Some of the most horrendous oil rig accidents stem from oil rig explosions, such as the one that occurred on the headline making Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. According to an internal investigation from BP, a bubble of methane gas escaped from the oil well and shot up the drilling column. As it rose, it expanded, breaking multiple seals along the way. It finally exploded in what can be safely called a blowout. Soon after that explosion, fire engulfed the rig at an astonishing rate, giving workers approximately 5 minutes to escape the rig, and eventually burning for more than a day before finally sinking the rig. When it was all said and done, the Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance reported the cost of the incident to be $145.93 billion. The incident claimed 11 lives.
Even beside the major explosions, some minor explosions can also cause serious injury. This can be a very tricky area to navigate because since it doesn’t quite make the headlines like a Deepwater Horizon incident would, it’s not unheard of to see employers treat an injured worker on site, while also pressuring the worker to stay “loyal” to the organization. Incorrect diagnostics can come out of such situations and an uninformed worker may not recognize the manipulation they are being put under. At the Kolodny Law Firm, we strive to help those injured by oil rig accidents. If you or a loved one have suffered skull fractures, burns, loss of limb, spinal injury, or any other injury related to an oil rig accident, we will aggressively fight for your rights under maritime law. Call us today.