Oil Rig Accident and Injury Lawyer
Oil Rig Accident and Injury Lawyer/Attorney?
Oil rig injury lawyer understand the laws affecting onshore and offshore oil rig accidents, and know how to construct a robust and viable case. Onshore and offshore oil rig work often introduces hazards that leave workers seriously injured. In fact, oil rig explosions and other accidents can disable and even kill people.
If you were involved in an oil rig explosion, you have legal recourse. Learn more about these accidents and how our oil rig injury lawyers can help.
Common Types of Oil Rig Injury
Dangers associated with working on oil rigs include:
- Fires and explosions: Since oil is naturally flammable, fires and explosions are common.
- Defective machinery: Defective equipment and machinery can cause workers to be crushed, maimed, or killed on the job.
- Transportation accidents: Workers may be hurt during transit on the job site.
- Weather: Hazardous weather can create dangerous situations in which workers are injured.
- Slip-and-falls: Falls can be deadly, and insufficient safety equipment and poor weather may exacerbate the risk on oil rigs.
- Chemical exposure: Potentially hazardous chemicals are used in the oil extraction process, and workers can suffer as a result of chemical exposure.
What Are the Proper Safety Standards on Maritime Job Sites?
1. Fire and Explosion Injuries
Since oil rigs deal principally with flammable oil and materials like hydrogen sulfide gas, burn injuries resulting from fires and explosions are horribly common.
If breakers are not properly maintained, equipment is allowed to become outdated, or fire safety inspections are lax because worker protection isn’t being prioritized, a fire or burn injury is practically inevitable. Burns can be disfiguring, and may lead to loss of limb or a loss of range-of-motion, as for example when permanent scarring tightens or fuses skin together.
You deserve better when doing a dangerous job than just the appearance of safety. If you’ve suffered a fire accident injury on an oil rig, contact an oil rig injury lawyer to discuss whether the response to your injury was sufficient enough. A fire that started due to negligence, or was allowed to spread unchecked for too long, is a consequence, not an accident. If your injury was not treated properly or fast enough, the extra damage done and the increased recovery time may deserve compensatory consideration.
2. Transportational Accidents
This accounts for injuries to one’s back or neck caused by lifting heavy machinery or equipment, with or without adequate support like a back brace or belt.
Being ordered to move something quickly could lead to injuries like sprains that worsen every time you move, or herniated discs that could cause long-term disability. Had enough time been granted to utilize a floor jack or dolly, or to find a coworker who could help you with the load, perhaps your injury would not have occurred.
Without allowing for the time required to transport heavy items safely, you may have essentially been set up for a workplace injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be looking at invasive surgeries, agonizing rehabilitation, and potentially a lifetime of pain and/or disability. These consequences are aspects a lawyer may highlight in arguing for the care that you’ll need going forward.
3. Occupational Exposure
Exposure to toxic chemicals, fumes, or materials at work can cause damage to your lungs, eyes, skin, and/or brain.
The potentially harmful substances on an offshore oil rig can include crude oil, drilling fluids, and chemical solvents. Ingesting or coming into contact with these chemicals could cause allergic reactions, rashes, chemical burns, respiratory problems (including asthma attacks), and possible asphyxiation. An interruption to one’s ability to breathe can quickly result in brain damage as well.
As an oil rig worker, you should be outfitted with gas masks and protective gear whenever you’re tasked with interacting with chemicals directly or indirectly. Expecting an employee to breathe poisonous fumes should not be an option.
4. Amputations, Lacerations, and Crushing Incidents
A severe laceration (deep tissue cut or tear), amputated finger/toe/limb, or crushing injury to the head, limb, or body is traumatic. Whether caused by interacting with hydraulic machinery or being hit by a falling instrument, these injuries can be profound and may mean that you can never work a manual labor job again.
According to EHS Today (Environment, Health, and Safety), “hand and finger injuries make up nearly 50% of incidents in the oil and gas industry” and at some facilities, up to 80% of all their recordable incidents. A hand injury in particular can mean an overwhelming change in an employee’s life outside of work, affecting his or her ability to drive, dial a phone, eat with utensils, as well as type, write, and/or sign documents, etc.
The utmost care should be taken to avoid these injuries at all times, but if and when they do occur, the worker deserves every assistance in healing and adapting after the fact. Such support could include:
- Financial and emotional aid surrounding surgery
- Physical therapy
- Implanting or utilizing an artificial limb
- Retraining or new skill acquisition that needs to be done after such a vital loss—learning how to brush one’s teeth with a non-dominant hand, for instance, takes time, patience, and care
5. Offshore Oil Rig Deaths
A lot can go wrong on the unforgiving terrain of an oil rig. A worker could suffer an immediate fatal injury like electrocution, drowning, head trauma, or a penetrating wound that causes them to bleed out before medical intervention.
An oil platform death can also occur after the employee is back on land. A post-injury or post-surgical infection is one example. Another is what’s called “dry drowning,” where an ingestion of water through the mouth and/or nose, though it never reaches the lungs, nevertheless causes a spasm that makes the airway close up.
A heart attack or stroke could also be brought on by the stress of an oil rig job. While the company that employed your loved one in such a dangerous line of work may not consider that a job-related death, an experienced oil rig injury lawyer may know how to prove the connection to a legal standard. This would help provide for a worker’s surviving family members in a wrongful death scenario.
Along with roofers, loggers, and iron workers, derrick operators in oil, gas, and mining have some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Most people work jobs where death and maiming injuries aren’t a regular occurrence, but for those who do hold jobs in such industries, the risks need to be minimized as much as possible.
Negligence and human error can have devastating consequences if workers are killed or injured as a result of a colleague’s attention lapse. Oil rig risks rise exponentially if workers lack sufficient training, if the job site lacks essential safety equipment, or due to negligence.
Oil rig environments bring higher-than-average risks of workplace accidents, and many oil field workers pay the ultimate price with their lives while on the job. If something goes wrong, you have legal rights. Since oil companies aggressively fight these lawsuits, it’s critical that you have an experienced oil rig injury lawyer on your side.