As a resident of Texas, you are probably familiar with oil rigs. Texas is one of the country’s top suppliers of oil and natural gas. The oil industry in Texas employs thousands of workers each year. Unfortunately, some of these workers suffer serious and life-threatening injuries in oil rig accidents. Recognizing the most common types of oil rig accidents in Texas could help you stay safe on the job.
Oil Rig Fires and Explosions
Oil and gas are two highly flammable materials. The reality of working with these materials is that oil rig fires and explosions are always a possibility. The nature of this job puts workers at constant risk of oil rig explosions. Flammable materials and combustible fumes, along with electrical hazards, mean that fires and explosions are an ever-present danger on an oil rig. In some cases, these fires are uncontrollable and create life-threatening infernos.
Dangerous Fumes or Chemicals
Working on an oil rig can put a worker at risk of inhaling or being exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous fumes. For example, drilling for oil releases crude oil, drilling fluids and dangerous solvents. Being exposed to these chemicals can result in skin irritation, rashes, allergic reactions, chemical burns, respiratory problems, internal organ damage, asphyxiation, and other injuries and illnesses.
A well blowout is an uncontrolled release of crude oil, also known as a gusher. It can occur when a pressure release system fails or if a spark comes into contact with the oil. An oil well blowout can cause catastrophic injuries and worker deaths. They are more likely to occur if the pressure balance of the oil well is not properly managed or if the pressure release system fails.
Working on an oil rig is synonymous with working from heights. If an employee is not given adequate fall protection, he or she could suffer a devastating fall. Oil rig falls may involve hoists, platforms, ladders or stairwells. These accidents can cause life-changing injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
A transportation accident can occur when a worker is hauling equipment to and from an oil rig. These accidents are more likely to occur in bad weather or on rough seas. They can involve aircraft that are used to navigate to remote locations, as well as company motor vehicles or other machinery. Inadequately trained personnel increase the risk of transportation accidents.
What Causes Oil Rig Accidents?
If a worker gets injured in an oil rig accident in Texas, it is necessary to determine the cause of the event before he or she can seek compensation. An employee needs to understand his or her legal rights and recovery options. Some of the most common causes of oil rig accidents are:
- Worker negligence
- Poor worker training
- Lack of safety equipment
- Equipment failures
- Defective machinery
- Collapsing rigs
- Unsecured machinery
Human error is behind some of the worst oil rig disasters in history. If an oil company fails to properly train its workers, provide protective equipment or maintain a safe work environment, disaster can strike. Other common causes are machinery breakdowns and defective equipment.
How to File a Claim for an Oil Rig Accident in Texas
Working in the offshore oil and gas industry may come with inherent injury risks as one of Texas’ most dangerous jobs, but that does not mean injuries are inevitable. Many oil rig disasters stem from preventable human errors. If you or someone you love gets injured in an oil rig accident in Texas caused by negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
Your recovery options could include filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent employer in the pursuit of justice. Discuss your ability to recover compensation for your serious injuries after an oil rig accident with an attorney in San Antonio today for more information.