Important Things to Know About Oil Rig AccidentsHouston Legal News
Leading Causes of Texas Oil Rig Injuries
Explosions and fires are the cause of many injuries and deaths on oil rigs, but transportation and equipment accidents are actually much more common. Let’s take a closer look at these three causes.
- Commuting and Transportation Incidents. Transportation to and from a rig can be a complex process involving multiple forms of transport. The helicopters and boats used to ferry workers to the rig are at risk of mechanical failures. Also, some workers have to commute back to their lodgings via trucks after working 12 to 24-hour shifts, despite being extremely exhausted. These long and frequent commutes are extremely dangerous, and falling asleep behind the wheel is entirely too common.
- Poor Safety Practices and Falling Objects. Complicated and dangerous equipment is commonplace on oil rigs. Malfunctioning equipment and improper safety practices are other leading causes of accidents on oil rigs. Because rigs are located in and near the water, there is a present danger of falling or causing a massive object to shift. While hard hats should be worn at all times while on a rig, sometimes these safety measures are unable to completely prevent a worker from suffering from traumatic brain injuries or broken bones.
- Oil Rig Explosions and Fires. Oil rig explosions and chemical fires are well-known rig dangers due to their potential to cause devastating injuries, fatalities and even environmental impacts.
Risks of Working on an Oil Rig
Many factors can increase the chances of oil rig accidents, injuries, or deaths, such as:
- Fatigue. Many workers on oil and gas rigs must work 12-hour shifts, spending one to two weeks at a time on the rig. Long work hours in high-stress working environments can create fatigue, which can impact judgment and reflexes and put workers at greater risk of injury.
- Isolation. Oil rigs are often far away from medical facilities. Some sections of a rig can be isolated, and it’s often hard to hear warnings from your coworkers about potential risks or even be alerted to possible injuries suffered over the sounds of loud machinery.
- Negligent Hiring and Training. When production levels are high, many companies will hire employees with little to no experience and push them through the training process far too quickly so they can work sooner. These unprepared workers are at risk of seriously injuring themselves and others.
- Dangerous Policies and Procedures. Some companies will attempt to cut costs and time by neglecting their responsibilities to their workers and using non-standard methods. The drilling industry is highly regulated to avoid safety hazards, but if companies implement unsafe methods or encourage workers to work more hours, they are putting everyone in danger.
Houston Oil Rig Accidents
Oil rigs are an extremely unsafe working environment. In 2008, the oil and gas extraction industry recorded 120 fatal workplace injuries. The majority of these deaths were caused by transportation accidents. In some cases, injured workers may be able to pursue lost compensation with the help of a Texas Oilfield accident attorney. Connolly Law is here to help ensure that you and your family are protected after a sudden accident. Give us a call today at (832) 767-3568 to discuss your case.