Facing an injury while at work on an oil rig can be devastating. Many oil rig injuries keep workers from returning to their jobs and force them and their families to pay expensive fees for medical bills and hospital care. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident on an oil rig, talk to the Houston oil rig injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys discuss some common oil rig injuries in Texas.
Most Common Offshore Oil Worker Injuries
Working on an oil rig brings certain risks. Any job dealing with heavy machinery and chemical exposure comes with certain risks, but offshore oil drilling carries additional risks because of the location and circumstances of drilling for oil in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Our lawyers explain some of the most common injuries that result from oil drilling accidents on oil rigs:
Back injuries are one of the most common on-the-job injuries in any profession. Working on an oil rig often means hunching over to operate machinery or lift and carry supplies or equipment. Working near oil always carries a risk of falling on slippery surfaces. On an offshore drilling platform, these risks are increased. Wet decks, catwalks, and other surfaces increase the chance of slipping and falling.
If you land on your back during a fall, you can seriously injure yourself. These injuries can leave lasting effects that make it difficult to return to work. More serious injuries involving spinal cord injuries could even leave you paralyzed in the case of a long fall or serious injury.
Heavy Machinery Injuries
Drilling for oil involves operating drilling equipment, lifts, cranes, and other heavy equipment. Operating any heavy machinery requires the proper training and safety gear. If someone is inattentive or lacked the proper training, you could be seriously injured. It is surprisingly easy for your hand, leg, or even your sleeve or pant leg to be caught in machinery. This can leave you with serious crushing injuries or even lead to amputation.
The risk of slipping and falling can also lead to serious head injuries. While most work zones require you to wear a hard hat, you may be caught off guard in living quarters or recreation areas while working on an oil rig. These falls can mean striking your head against hard surfaces like bulkheads and gunwales. Additionally, low-hanging catwalks or other surfaces could also lead to head injuries.
When you strike your head against a hard surface, you could easily face a concussion. These injuries can cause unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, and nausea. More severe head injuries can cause skull fractures and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Severe brain injuries like TBI can cause problems with cognition, motor function, memory, sensation, bowel control, and other bodily functions. These effects can even be permanent, requiring ongoing medical care.
Chemical Exposure Injuries
Crude oil is often very irritating to the skin and eyes, especially if you become covered during a leak or other accident. This can cause intense pain and discomfort and could potentially leave lasting consequences. In addition, oil rig workers are often exposed to other chemicals used during the harvesting and treatment of crude oil.
Proper safety gear like coveralls, respirators, masks, goggles, and gloves can help prevent injuries. If your employer failed to provide you with the proper safety gear, you could face serious injuries because of their negligence.
One of the worst accidents that can happen on an oil rig is a fire. It is often impossible to stop many of these fires with the presence of so much oil. If you get any flammable chemicals or oil on your body, you could suffer incredibly serious burn injuries. Any burn injury is painful and could require serious medical treatment. Less serious burns can occur if you come into contact with overheated machinery, as well.
Suing for Oil Rig Injuries in Texas
If you or a loved one was injured while working on an oil rig, you may be entitled to sue for compensation. Maritime law often allows offshore workers to sue their employer or the owners of oil rigs and vessels for injuries they suffer because of poor safety conditions. Failing to provide a worker with proper training in their language, safety gear, and emergency supplies like fire extinguishers is often a serious violation that can lead to liability. In court, this can provide the evidence necessary to win a negligence lawsuit and recover compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Texas Oil Drilling Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
After being injured on an oil rig, it could take months or years before you are well enough to get back to work. In the meantime, you need compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering your injuries caused. For help filing your case, contact the Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys offer free consultations. Call (817) 476-1797 today to schedule your free legal consultation.