Gas and oil rig employees put up with some of the most hazardous working conditions every day. Typically, a drilling operation would expose a worker to several potential accidents, like being hit by a crane, exposed to dangerous chemicals, burned by a blowout, hurt by falling items, and others. These accidents could lead to an injured employee going through major emotional and physical pain, permanent scarring, medical bills, and lost wages.
Oil Rig Explosion Injuries
Workers could suffer from an array of oil rig explosion injuries, such as the following:
- Back injuries
- Traumatic burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns of varying degrees
- Brain damage
- Severe hearing loss
- Amputation of limbs
Injuries Oil Rig Injury Causes
An oil rig explosion is the most major threat to oil rig workers. Common causes of oil rig explosions are listed below.
Since oil is inflammable, a fire could arise very easily. At times, the spark starting the fire could be courtesy damaged wires. Also, the kitchen can catch fire, which could spread to other regions. Spilling of hazardous substances; using grinding, welding or cutting tools in close proximity to flammable items (since these tools could create sparks); not training workers properly on how to handle gas and oil; not adhering to safety norms, such as leaving unattended flames or smoking near flammable materials are all cause for fires aboard an oil rig.
The pool of underground oil could blow out or erupt when employees are actively oil-drilling and there is a pressure increase. This usually happens due to system monitor failure or workers not acting properly and promptly to control well pressure. Though blowouts aren’t as common as they used to be (since modern equipment is being designed to control the pressure properly), workers must still always look out for signs of a blowout likely to happen. These signs include reduced drill pipe weight, change of drilling rate, and change in pump pressure.
With employees depending on specialized tools to do their jobs, major injuries could happen when such equipment fail: power tools could create sparks, vent setups fail that permit build-up of hazardous chemicals or fumes, pipes can corrode, wires get damaged, and well monitors malfunction.
How to Recover Compensation
If you suffered injuries due to an oil rig explosion, you can file a claim to recover compensation under the Jones Act. The act is basically a law that applies to workers who perform thirty percent or more of their job on offshore oil rigs and other seafaring vessels. The law offers compensation that covers your disability benefits and medical bills.
Unlike claims pertaining to workers compensation, the Jones Act expects you to prove that the negligence of your employer caused the injury. The employer’s negligence need not be the sole cause. Even if the negligence played a minor part in your injury, it would be counted.
In case you lost someone to an oil rig accident, your claim would come under the purview of the Death on the High Seas Act. You would receive compensation for various damages, such as lost inheritance, funeral expenses, and lost financial support. Contact Braud & Gallagher if you’d like assistance with recovering compensation for injuries caused by seashore accidents.