The United States is one of the world’s top crude oil producers, with the industry employing thousands of people. Texas continues to lead the way in terms of oil-producing states, with 42.4% of the total US crude oil production in 2021. While oil rigs are a large employer in the US and within Texas, working on rigs also comes with its risks and dangers.
Oil rig work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In this blog post, we will highlight the common types of oil rig injuries that occur. If you have sustained an injury, don’t hesitate to contact Herring Law Firm, the leading oil rig injury lawyer in Austin, TX. Let’s get started.
Common Types of Oil Rig Injuries
Oil rig workers are at risk of a wide range of injuries in their line of duty. These can range from minor injuries to catastrophic and life-changing injuries. The extent of the injury is often dependent on the nature of the accident.
Some of the most common types of injuries that occur include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chemical burns
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
Many of these injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, have permanent and life-changing consequences. Many people who suffer serious injuries are unable to work again, which impacts their ability to support their family, pursue their favorite hobbies and activities, and their overall quality of life.
In addition to injuries, fatalities are also common in the oil industry. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 people were fatally injured in accidents related to oil and gas extraction in 2017. The majority of these (44) occurred in Texas.
The most common causes of fatal injuries within the industry include vehicle accidents, contact injuries, explosions, exposure to harmful substances, falls, and electrocutions.
Common Causes of Oil Rig Injuries
Before we look at the common causes of injuries, it’s necessary to understand the nature of oil rig accidents. Some of the most common types of accidents include oil rig explosions, oil well blowouts, slips and falls, and transportation accidents.
For example, an oil rig explosion can happen either at an onshore or offshore oil rig. Given that the industry primarily deals with flammable materials, mistakes can result in fires or even explosions.
An oil well blowout, on the other hand, refers to an uncontrolled release of crude oil or gas from oil wells, which occurs when the pressure release system fails. These types of blowouts include underground, subsea, and surface blowouts. Blowouts may also occur during well testing, drilling, oil production, and well completion.
There are incredibly high demands placed on the oil industry, which often pushes employees to the brink of their productivity. In order to meet these demands, workers are often faced with a fast-paced environment and employers who may cut corners to increase production.
Employers who cut corners or ignore safety procedures increase the risk that their staff will be injured or worse. What’s more, many oil rig workers are not given the proper amount of training they require to safely perform their duties. Equipment that is not properly maintained is another cause of injuries on an oil rig.
A lack of safeguards is another cause of injuries among oil rig workers. For example, in the event of a fire or explosion, workers may not have the protection they require, such as safety control devices like tripwires and barriers such as protective shields and gates.
Steps to Take Following an Oil Rig Accident
Given that, unfortunately, oil rig accidents are common, it is essential that workers know what to do in the event of an accident. Taking the right steps in the immediate aftermath will affect both your medical and legal recovery chances.
In the event of an accident, the first thing that you should do is get to an area that is safe. Explosions and fires can quickly spread, therefore leaving the oil rig entirely, if you are in a position to, may be the best option.
Even if you feel fine, you should take time to check for injuries. Due to the nature of the incident, you may be experiencing shock. This can impact your ability to recognize injuries.
In order to file a claim for damages against the liable parties, it is recommended that you speak to an experienced oil rig injury lawyer. They will be able to chart out the steps necessary and assist in arranging the documentation you need.
It is also recommended that you document the accident where possible, such as by taking photographs or videos of the site and creating a journal detailing the event and any injuries sustained.
Why You Should Hire an Oil Rig Injury Lawyer
In order to get the justice and compensation that you deserve following an oil rig injury in Texas, it is essential to partner with an experienced and professional oil rig injury lawyer. They will help you every step of the way, allowing you to focus on recovery while pursuing damages from the at-fault parties.
The best oil rig injury lawyer in Austin, TX, is Herring Law Firm. As a formidable force in the energy industry, we have solved more than 2,500 cases for our clients.
Contact our team today for a free consultation to discuss your case and your options. We look forward to speaking with you.