The oil and gas industry is one of Houston’s biggest employers. While a large amount of Houston’s petrochemical industry is situated in the area in and around Pasadena, many people in oil and gas work on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.
Even though Texas and the US couldn’t work without them, offshore oil jobs are intrinsically dangerous. Working on oil rigs comes with more serious risks than most other jobs, including the risk of death. Accidents on oil rigs are similar to those in industrial settings, but others are unique to rigs.
Types of Oil Rig Accidents
Because oil rigs are so dangerous, safety must be a top priority for the companies as well as the workers. Just the heights of the oil rigs are dangerous for everyone working there. Coupled with the potential for fire, explosions, unsecured or defective machinery, and collapse, workers on oil rigs must take extra precautions every time they go to work.
Oil rig workers face dangers from:
- Equipment malfunctions and accidents
- Slip and falls
- Transportation accidents to and from the oil rig
- Chemical exposure leading to poisoning
- Fires and explosions from blowouts
- Gas leaks
- High pressure in the wells
- Human error
- Structural failure
- Inadequate or delayed repairs and maintenance
- Inadequate training for workers
- Reckless or careless actions by workers
- Inadequate oversight and communication
- Weather: storms, high winds, and hurricanes
These are just some of the ways a worker can be hurt. Any one of these can leave workers with serious debilitating injuries and unable to work, sometimes, permanently.
Oil Rig Accident Injuries
Workers who experience an accident on oil rigs may face longer-term recoveries and possible permanent disability from:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crush injuries
- Eye injuries and blindness
- Amputations (loss of limb)
- Soft tissue damage
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Electrical shock
- Repetitive motion and other musculoskeletal injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Workers’ Compensation insurance through your employer may cover the injury on the job. This means medical expenses and part of your wages are paid until you reach maximum medical improvement. Disability payments and vocational rehabilitation may be included, depending on the circumstances.
Can You File A Claim?
Much will depend on the responsible party. If you choose to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation with your employer, you won’t be able to file a claim except under limited circumstances. But if the accident was caused by a contractor or other third party, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your injuries.
Accidents due to defective or malfunctioning equipment may mean a claim against the equipment manufacturer or distributor of the equipment. Other employees who are responsible for accidents may also be held liable.
You may be able to recover compensation from other third parties for:
- Medical expenses, current, future, and continual
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Property damage
- Wrongful death (for survivors)
Because there are so many variables in an oil rig accident, you should speak with an attorney. They can discuss your legal options for your individual case.
Houston Oil Rig Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on an oil rig, call the Paxton Law Firm. Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. Attorney Richard Paxton understands that you may not be in the best place to deal with your case while you are injured. His goal is to turn a negative situation into the best possible outcome allowable.
We offer free consultations and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you. Call (281) 978-2244 and let us help.