Common Offshore Oil Rig Accidents
The offshore oil industry has a large presence in the state of Texas. It's a line of work that offers many economic advantages, but it comes with dangers as well. The offshore oil rig industry is known for its high risk of accidents.
Offshore oil rig accidents tend to result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Depending on the cause of these accidents, injury victims may be due substantial financial compensation for their losses. Here, attorney Michael E. Shelton, who serves Houston, TX, and surrounding areas, discusses some of the most common types of offshore oil rig accidents, and factors that frequently lead to these disasters.
Many offshore oil rig accidents do not take place on the rig (or oil platform) itself, but rather on the way to or from the oil rig. Workers often travel to an oil rig by aircraft or boat. If a transportation vehicle has an accident, the consequences can be catastrophic. Transportation accidents are a leading cause of fatalities among oil rig workers. These types of accidents can be caused by pilot or operator error, mechanical failures, or adverse weather conditions.
Not unlike the field of construction, Houston oil rig workers operate or work in close proximity to a lot of heavy machinery and equipment. Equipment accidents can cause severe injuries, including lacerations, crush injuries, burns, broken bones, and concussions. Equipment accidents are frequently the result of poor training, neglect in following safety protocols, misuse of equipment, or equipment defects.
Fires and Gas Explosions
Oil is highly flammable, as is much of the material aboard an oil rig, so fire and gas explosions are obviously a huge concern for oil rig workers. Some of the most well-known oil rig accidents involve gas explosions, including the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 people in 2010. Oil rig fires and explosions usually stem from defective equipment, insufficient maintenance, and/or unsafe drilling practices.
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are one of the top causes of personal injuries across all fields of employment. Oil rig decks and oil rig platforms can get wet and slippery. Site managers are meant to minimize the risk of a slip or fall by doing their part to keep surfaces dry and free of other debris and hazards. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for site managers to neglect certain safety protocols in order to get work done more quickly. This neglect can result in slips, falls, and serious injuries.
Exposure to Toxic Substances
Though not exactly an “accident,” many Houston oil rig workers suffer illness or injuries due to exposure to toxic substances. Exposure can lead to a sudden illness or injury, or it can gradually cause damage over time. Harmful substances that are commonly found on offshore oil rigs include solvent, production chemicals, and drilling fluid.
If you have been injured in an offshore oil rig accident, attorney Michael E. Shelton in Houston can help you explore your right to financial compensation. To find out how we can assist you in holding liable parties accountable for accident damages, send us a message online, or call (713) 807-0700 and schedule a consultation.