Oil rigs, whether on land or offshore, present significant dangers for those tasked with their operation. Even though oil rig workers can make good money, the dangers are very real. Oil rig workers are exposed to incredibly hazardous conditions and elements, and injuries can be severe.
Most Common Hazards Facing Oil Rig Workers
studies available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the oil and gas extraction industry “faces unique safety and health hazards and historically elevated fatality rates.” This includes individuals working on an oil rig. Some of the most common hazards facing roughnecks include:
Fire and explosion. Because of the presence of highly flammable materials on oil rigs, there’s a constant risk of fires and explosions, which can cause severe burns and injuries to workers.
Chemical exposure. Workers are often exposed to toxic chemicals used in the drilling process. This exposure can lead to skin irritation, respiratory issues, and other health complications.
Slips, trips, and falls. The wet and slippery conditions on oil rigs certainly increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls, potentially leading to broken bones, head injuries, or even fatalities.
Struck-by/caught-in accidents. The presence of large machinery and equipment on rigs leads to accidents where workers can be struck by or caught in between objects, causing severe injuries.
Confined spaces. Working in confined spaces with limited entry and exit points can be incredibly risky due to hazards like asphyxiation and explosions.
Crush injuries. Heavy equipment used in confined spaces and adverse weather conditions can lead to crushing injuries, which may cause organ damage, broken bones, and nerve injuries.
Amputation and loss of limbs. Accidents involving heavy machinery can result in severe lacerations or crush injuries, leading to limb loss or amputation.
Inhalation of toxic chemicals. Workers are exposed to hazardous substances, risking respiratory distress, infection, and long-term health issues.
Hearing loss. The loud noise from heavy machinery can lead to hearing impairment among workers.
Severe burn injuries. Regular interaction with flammable substances increases the risk of thermal and chemical burns.
Traumatic brain injuries. Falls, being struck by objects, or explosions can cause TBIs, leading to long-term cognitive and neurological effects.
Machinery accidents. Accidents involving drilling equipment, cranes, and winches can lead to crush injuries, amputations, or fatalities.
Weather-related incidents. Offshore rigs are susceptible to harsh weather conditions, which can cause accidents and equipment damage.
Recovering Compensation for an Oil Rig Injury
Recovering compensation after an oil rig injury can be challenging. Not every employer in Texas is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, even those who are able to recover workers’ comp benefits often find that these are not sufficient enough to cover their expenses. In many cases, oil rig accident victims in Texas are able to file civil personal injury lawsuits against other parties responsible for the injury. These claims may bring the ability to recover additional compensation types, including coverage of all medical expenses, complete lost wage recovery, and pain and suffering damages.