Oil extraction is a vital component of our nation’s economy. The Gulf of Mexico currently has thousands of oil rig platforms in operation, 25 percent of which require physical labor. The job is lucrative, but before setting off for a career in the booming industry, one should be aware of the risks associated with the potentially deadly task of oil and gas extraction.
For those that have already set off to uncharted waters, taking up a position in a job that presents many hazards, it is important to know your legal protections in case a problem arises or you are faced with a deadly encounter.
The physically demanding job centers around highly flammable oil that is accessed with heavy machinery and equipment. Platforms can quickly turn into dangerous obstacle courses where you must dodge injuries and death upon scaled platforms every day that you go to work.
Know your rights as an oil rig worker, such as the Jones Act, and take precaution every minute on the job.
If you suffer an injury while working on an oil rig platform, seek the expertise of skilled oilfield explosion attorneys at J. Gonzalez in McAllen, Texas.
Do not suffer alone. Call us today at (956)630-6700 for a free case review from our committed team of attorneys.
Occupational Fatality Statistics
The latest statistics from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (2017) reveal the top 6 causes of fatal injury in the workplace followed by the number of injuries that occured:
1.) Transportation Incidents with 2,007 fatal occupational injuries.
2.) Slips, falls, and trips with 887 fatal occupational injuries.
3.) Violence & other injury by person or animal with 807 fatal occupational injuries.
4.) Contact with objects or equipment with 695 fatal occupational injuries.
5.) Exposure to harmful substances or environment with 531 fatal occupational injuries.
6.) Fires and explosion with 123 fatal occupational injuries.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed fatal events in the oil and gas industry for a period of ten years, after observing the unprecedented growth in the industry from 2003-2013.
The findings reveal that the number of on-the-job fatalities in the oil and gas extraction industry increased 27.6 percent. Two-thirds of worker fatalities were caused by transportation accidents. Furthermore, half of all persons fatally injured were employed by service wells.
Risk Factors of Jobs in Oil and Gas Industry
In the United States, there is much potential in the oil and gas industry, creating a demand for skilled laborers. Increased employment leads to more potential for fatal incidents to occur.
There is money in the job, but waking up each day to go to work means facing a series of hazards. Employer or contractor negligence can make the job that much more dangerous.
The oil and gas industry makes for a very dangerous work environment due to the following factors:
- Use of heavy machinery and equipment
- Challenging landscape increases incidents of falls
- Toxic gas exposure
- Chemical that can cause burns
- Fires and explosions
- Electrical hazards
- Use of mechanical and standard hand tools
- Numerous types of vehicles
- Surrounded by highly flammable oil
For more information on your legal protections, call (956)630-6700 to speak with oilfield law experts.
High Risk of Oilfield Explosions
There are grave dangers in the occupation of oil drilling, and whether the site be offshore or midland, the potential for a tragic accident is prominent. In Texas, we see many job opportunities up along the coast, as there is a high demand for work to be done.
Even though an oil platform can be surrounded by a body of water, the chance of fire is likely due to the highly-pressurized equipment combined with the high exposure to extracted oil, oil byproducts and other flammable substances around.
Beware: Fire is the #1 threat aboard these platforms. “Hot work”, or welding, grinding, and cutting all create sparks, and even the smallest of sparks that go astray can lead to serious combustion. With all the flammable oil aboard, one may not have the chance to escape the fury of a fire, resulting in serious injury or death.
Workers aboard the platform and the environment can be harmed from oilfield explosions.
Other Dangers on the Platform
Blowouts are another common accident that can occur on an oil platform. This occurs when a surge of oil or gas is released from a well and cannot be controlled or suppressed. An excess of pressure in drilling can make the underground pool of oil erupt if drilling mud is not able to create enough traction.
Although many preventative measures have been taken to reduce the likelihood of a blowout, they are still possible and can be deathly to laborers and hazardous to the environment.
Defective equipment is another great risk, leading to potential fatal oilfield accidents. The heavy machinery being used requires much training, constant upkeep and maintenance, and supervision by employers and contractors to ensure all is smooth sailing.
Employers and contractors are liable for letting unfit or untrained laborers work on these complex platforms.
It is all too often that those in charge want to keep the rate of work done up to maintain profits. This can result in a lack of safety precaution taken, failure to inspect machinery on a routined basis, or turning a blind eye to slight maintenance that must be done.
Defects in equipment do not occur overnight, but the constant disregard to ensure all equipment is fully functioning can eventually lead to a devastating mishap.
Common Oilfield Injuries
Fire can quickly due to the quantity of highly flammable oil and other substances on an extraction platform. When explosions occur, the impact can be brutal and hard to escape.
Severe injuries and death are likely in the event of an oil field explosion. Victims may be subject to, but not limited to the following injuries::
- Severe burns
- Loss of limbs
- Internal Injuries
- Loss of sight and and hearing
- Broken bones
- Damage to the organs
- Trauma to the brain
Survivors of the devastating event may need help seeking medical assistance. Seek medical attention above all else. Take time to heal to your best capacity. If your loved one has been the one harmed, contact oilfield explosion attorneys for them, if they are not able to, so that they can still pursue the means of recovery through compensation.
Contact McAllen oilfield explosion attorneys now at (956)630-6700 for further assistance.
Workers Protections Under the Jones Act
Individuals that take the risk to enter this hazardous profession should know that there are certain safety regulations set in place meant to protect oilfield workers.
The entities that set regulations and offer protections include:
- The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM)
- The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Merchant Marine Act of 1920- Jones Act
The Jones Act of 1920 was enacted to protect seamen from acts of negligence committed by supervisors or other crew members. Under the Jones Act, a worker may pursue a civil claim for negligence of another party, including rushing workers past the point of taking proper precautions, failure to do maintenance on equipment, and related situations where a workers safety was knowingly compromised.
How Can J. Gonzalez Attorneys Help You
The truth of the matter is that negligence has caused more oil rig mishaps than any other cause. Human error in this field causes serious injury and can lead to death. The attorneys of J. Gonzalez are well versed in knowledge of oil rig platform safety regulations, work conditions that must be implemented, and tactics used by certain entities to speed up the means of production, which can bypass necessary precaution.
Negligence should not be tolerated in any field. The business of oil extraction is profiting too much money to do anything but maintain the safety of all its laborers. Accidents do occur, and in the event that an individual suffers any sort of injury while at work, they should have the direct capacity to recover damages for their losses.
Our team of oilfield attorneys can assist you in the pursuit of a civil claim in a number of ways:
- Commitment to thorough investigation.In the event of an oil rig explosion, many entities may be in the pursuit of the cause of said incident. A number of industry professionals may be looking into the accident including the oil company executives, the Coast Guard, and other legal entities.We promise to crack down on the incident and prioritize your personal recovery through diligent pursuit of the facts surrounding the incident.
- Determining who is liable for your injury.Numerous parties may have exhibited negligence contributing to the oil rig accident that has caused you injury or harm. Some of the many entities include:
-Oil rig supervisors
- Going up against even the most powerful oil companies.When it comes to the negligence of a big name oil company, we will not back down until you receive a fair settlement for the injuries you have suffered. Our well-versed team is confident in taking a claim before a court so that justice is served.
Have you suffered work-place injuries or faced death in an oilfield explosion? Contact the trustworthy Texas oilfield explosion attorneys of J. Gonzalez today for quality service from a firm with years of successful litigation.
Do not let another minute past without seeking individualized care and attention. Call (956)630-6700 now for a team that will work hard for you.