Though the risk of injury is high for oil workers, these accidents rarely result in death. The everyday risks of falling, injuring yourself on machinery, or hurting your back are exacerbated by the potential of blowouts and mechanical failures that could seriously injure you. Add in the chance of chemical exposure and fire, and there is a substantial risk of serious injury. However, some of these injuries are often deadlier than others. The Dallas oil rig injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm discuss the 5 deadliest injuries that oil workers face in Texas.
Types of Fatal Oil Rig Injuries in TX
Texas is one of the states with the highest number of on the job injuries each year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the workplace accidents that most commonly cause wrongful deaths are surprisingly mundane accidents with deadly consequences. However, there are more serious injuries and accidents that can cause multiple deaths and serious injuries in the oil profession. We will discuss a mix of these accidents that our lawyers consider the most deadly oil rig injuries.
Fires and Explosions
Though fires and explosions on oil rigs are incredibly rare, they are also incredibly dangerous. The Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 is an obvious and terrifying example of the potential harm an oil fire or explosion can cause. During that incident, 11 workers were killed, and 17 were injured. Because accidents like this can put multiple people in immediate danger, these accidents are incredibly deadly. Burn injuries are also some of the most serious and painful injuries you can receive, and they often require skin grafts and painful care to prevent infection and further harm.
An offshore oil platform requires many pieces of heavy equipment to function, and dozens of workers help operate and maintain that machinery. From roughnecks to motormen, many oil workers operate heavy machinery, often very close to the moving parts. It is possible to get a sleeve or pant leg caught in machinery, which can pull in your arm or leg and cause serious injury. In many of these cases, the accident may be survivable, but blood loss, shock, and the delay in emergency aid could prove fatal. It takes a long time to get a severely injured individual to shore, and it may be too late for massive injuries.
Getting to and from an oil rig is a bit of a journey. Transportation injuries are the single most deadly cause of accidental death for workers throughout the country. While the workers who face the brunt of these accidents are transportation workers, such as truck drivers, oil workers face the risk of boat accidents or helicopter crashes. While your commute might not be daily, the extended travel to an offshore facility means more time in transit and a higher risk of injuries. Especially on rough seas or barge boats carrying large quantities of dangerous or flammable materials like crude oil, the risk of a serious accident is increased.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are the second or third highest cause of death for workers throughout the country, depending on the year. On an oil rig, leakage or minor blowouts can coat surfaces in slippery oil. Even without accidents like this, wet catwalks and decks and potentially severe weather conditions can increase the chance of slipping and falling. While hard hats may do a good job of protecting you from head injuries while on duty, off-duty injuries can also cause serious brain trauma and spinal cord injuries, especially if you fall a long distance or land on your head or neck.
The other cause of fatal injury that competes for second place against slip and fall injuries is violence from other workers. This statistic is high for all workers across all professions, and also includes deaths caused by animals – an unlikely occurrence in the oil industry. However, oil rigs are a potential powder keg for disagreement and on-the-job violence. Being in close quarters with the same co-workers for a prolonged period can grate on peoples’ nerves and lead to disagreements. An oil rig is no place for fighting due to the heavy machinery, long falls, catwalks, metal bulkheads, and other potentially dangerous scenarios. If a fight goes wrong or leads to another accident like a slip and fall, things could turn deadly.
Dallas Oil Worker Wrongful Death Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
In a workplace, true accidents are quite rare. Many of these fatal injuries and types of accidents can be blamed on someone’s negligence or patently unsafe ships and rigs. If you have lost a loved one to an on-the-job accident on an offshore oil rig, talk to our Dallas personal injury lawyers today. If a spouse, parent, or child died in an accident, you may be entitled to file wrongful death and survival actions to seek compensation for your loss. For help with your case, contact the Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys offer free consultations to help you understand your case. Call (817) 476-1797 today.