Common Causes of Oilfield Injuries

Oilfield work can be an extremely dangerous occupation. The potential for gas explosions, leakage of toxic chemicals, and falls from extreme heights are heightened in oil fields. Every year over 4,000 oilfield workers are injured in the field. Of these 4,000 cases over 100 end in fatality. Oilfield accidents can not only harm workers involved, but they can also affect and harm people in the surrounding areas. Explosions and leaks can become unstable and difficult to contain. If you or a loved one has been injured on an oil rig you may be eligible to receive full compensation. Hospital bills, current and future pain & suffering, as well as loss of income may be covered. Arming yourself with knowledge of the most common oil rig accidents can serve as a form of protection while in the field.

The most common causes of oil field accidents are as follows:

1. Explosions

Extreme pressure from burning vapors can be the cause of oil field explosions. Once the pressure becomes too much the tops of the containers can come off. Pressure systems are put in place to prevent this, but sometimes they fail. Accidental sparks caused by wielding can lead to gas fires. Those in close proximity can suffer severe injuries ranging from head injuries to broken bones.

2. Fires

Oil well fires are usually the result of pressurized gas erupting and making contact with sparks. Oil field fires can be very difficult to put out largely due to the high volumes of fuel. The process of putting out oil field fires is a complex one. First explosives are used to create shock waves. The purpose of these shock waves are to distance burning fuel away from the field. After this, the top must be capped to prevent further flow of oil. Burn injuries from oil well fires can be very serious because of the volume of the fire.

3. Equipment failure

Oil field equipment maintenance is of extreme importance, it can prevent a number accidents. Oil field work depends heavily on the operation of heavy and complex machinery. Failure to maintain equipment can lead to many problems including:

  • Pipes and valves that become corroded
  • Machinery that malfunctions
  • Worn cables or loose tongs
  • Failures in design

4. Insufficient Training

Oil fields are considered a fast paced work environment that requires extreme focus and care from workers. Oil field workers that do not receive proper training can become a harm to themselves as well as a liability. Minor mistakes made by workers can lead to wide scale catastrophes that harm multiple people. Oil field workers should not only know how to operate machinery, but also should be well versed on safety procedures in the case of an emergency. Knowledge of safety protocol can help workers reduce damage inflicted or injuries suffered.

Oilfield Injury Lawsuits

Pursuing compensation for oilfield injury cases is extremely difficult to deal with, due to Texas legislation. Often enough, oilfield companies do not own the land that they are working/drilling on so it becomes difficult to receive compensation from them. They are also often covered by workers compensation insurance, which protects them from lawsuits such as these. If the oilfield company does not own the land that they are working on, they often sign a lease with the property owner. This lease gives the company permission to work on or drill on the land for a certain amount of time. With this happening, the liability of an oilfield injury can fall on the land owner. The landowner is responsible to protect anyone on the property from dangerous conditions and must inspect and warn others of any potential dangers on the property.

If you are injured on their property, they may be the party that you need to target in your lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help you decide which party is the best to include in your potential case. If you have any questions regarding oilfield injury cases, please contact Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP today. We have a staff of experienced attorneys that can help you receive the compensation that you deserve.