Texas’ offshore drilling industry is one of the largest in the country. This means that there are thousands of people that work directly with drills, machinery, and other processes, and more who support the oil rig by shipping supplies or managing administrative needs. All of these workers are at risk for workplace accidents. When your workplace is an oil rig, there are particular, common injuries that you may face. The Houston oil rig injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm discuss some of these common oil rig injuries. If you or a family member was injured on an oil rig, talk to our lawyers today for a free consultation on your case.
Types of Injuries for Oil Rig Workers
Oil rigs create injury risks from the machinery used on board, pressurized oil, and other risks due to weather and environmental conditions. If you are injured in a workplace accident on an oil rig, you may be entitled to sue your employer for damages. Texas law may require you to use workers’ compensation in some cases. But, if you can take your case to court, you might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some of the injuries oil rig workers commonly face include the following:
Wet catwalks, leaking oil, and other dangers can create a risk of slipping and falling or tripping and falling. OSHA rules require oil rigs to have plenty of sturdy handrails, but you can still face accidental slipping and falling. When you fall down, it is easy to accidentally hit your head on hard surfaces. Alternatively, strong storms or sudden leaks from pressurized oil pipes can knock you off your feet or push you into walls, where you may hit your head.
Proper safety gear can help prevent injuries, but if your employer failed to provide hard hats and other equipment, you might face serious injuries. Strong blows to the head can knock you out and cause concussions. More serious accidents can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). This can cause permanent effects, motor skill problems, memory or cognitive issues, personality changes, lost sensation, and other serious effects that may make it impossible to return to work.
Injuries from falls can also cause serious injuries to your back and spine. If you fall on your back, land on your tailbone, or otherwise throw out your back during a fall, you could face ongoing injuries. Spinal cord injuries are extremely severe and can cause numbness, loss of motor control, or even paralysis. Less serious back injuries like herniated disks and misalignment of the spinal column can cause pain and discomfort that may make it difficult to return to work.
Oil rigs often use heavy machinery, which comes with serious injury risks for workers. Pumps and drills are often closed off from direct contact, but they still have many moving parts. Anyone who works with heavy machinery faces a risk of getting their arms or legs caught in these machines. Your sleeve, pant leg, or other clothing could become caught in moving parts, pulling you in before the machine can be shut off. If you are not given the proper supervision and safety precautions that OSHA and other laws require, you may suffer serious injuries before the machinery can be shut down.
Highly pressurized oil is piped out of the oil well, through the rig, and out to refineries. Other rigs need to pack the oil and ship it on tankard ships to get the oil to shore. In any case, the oil is highly pressurized, and catastrophic failures can mean burst pipes. When any metal container is highly pressurized, shrapnel, rivets, and other bits of debris can be expelled outward in a catastrophic failure. These materials can cause damage akin to a gunshot wound if they hit you. Especially if these objects penetrate your skull, eye, or lung, or strike your spine, you could face serious, permanent injuries or death.
Burns and Irritation
Working with oil always has a risk of fire or explosion. While most oil rigs operate with strict rules against open flames to prevent igniting any oil, sparks from machinery and drilling can occur. If this happens, entire oil rigs can become danger zones, and you can face the risk of serious burns and death from the heat and direct contact with the flames. In less catastrophic accidents, you may come into contact with crude oil. Touching oil with unprotected skin or getting the oil in your mouth or eyes can cause intense irritation or chemical burns, depending on your reaction to it.
Dallas Oil Rig Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured on an oil rig accident, or if a family member was killed in a workplace accident on an oil rig, talk to an attorney today. The Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm represent injury victims and their families in workplace injury lawsuits and fight to get them the compensation they need for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, call our law offices today at (817) 719-8082.