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Common Issues And Accidents Faced By Oil Riggers

Laura Lifshitz
December 29, 2020

Being an oil rigger can certainly pay off with free training—no schooling required—and a handsome paycheck. The issue with oil rigging is the fact that this work can be very dangerous. Consider this: in 2017, the CDC reported 69 fatalities due to work injuries in oil extraction. 44 of these fatalities happened in Texas. And what about the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 and the Usumacinta Jack-up disaster of 2007? Both disasters happened in the Gulf of Mexico and caused many deaths and injuries.

So while the industry brings attractive jobs, it also has its risks. If you happen to be working in the oil rigging business and are the victim of an accident or injury, make no mistake: having an experienced maritime injury attorney at your side is an absolute must. From handling claims to getting you the most money to cover your needs post-accident, a maritime injury attorney is there to see you through such a stressful event.

Here are the most common issues and accidents faced by oil riggers on the job each day:

The Most Common Issues and Accidents on Oil Rigging Jobs

This high-risk job comes with serious stress. Oil riggers must be on their very best each day in order to maintain their safety and other’s safety.

The most common injuries faced by oil riggers are as follows:

  • Back and Neck Injuries
  • Bone Fractures and Breaks
  • Cuts, Lacerations and Puncture Wounds
  • Fire and Chemical Burns
  • Hearing Loss
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Vision Loss

oil rig injury lawyer

With a list of issues that long and serious, you’re probably wondering what tends to cause these health issues and injuries. Here are the common reasons and causes for accidents on oil rig jobs:

 Causes of Accidents and Injuries on Oil Rig Jobs

#1 Extreme fatigue due to long hours

Extreme fatigue is a big factor in accidents on the job. Unlike a typical office worker who pulls an eight hour day, oil riggers often pull a twelve hour shift, as well as clocking in a week to two weeks on the job in one shot. Those sort of hours combined with a stressful work environment is often a recipe for disaster.

Workers need proper rest and breaks in order to keep them performing their best on the rig.

#2 Accidents While On The Road

It’s not unusual for accidents to happen while getting workers to the rig. Mechanical failures happen from time to time. Not to forget, just as mentioned in the above point, drivers can also be extremely fatigued from working insanely long shifts: think 12- 24 hour days getting to and back from a rig. These hours at the wheel can really impact drivers and workers. 

#3 Muffled Warnings While On The Job

The loud machinery on an oil rig job can mean that a warning shouted to a coworker could be muffled or missed, altogether. 

#4 Locations Causing High Chance Of Falling

Because oil rigs or in or near the water, the chance of something failing—or someone falling—is high. This is why wearing proper safety gear and hard hats are so important. 

#5 Isolation From Help During An Accident

It’s not unusual for an oil rig to be located rather far away from any possible help. This makes the loud noises (see point #3) and the distance from medical treatment centers two big stressors while on the job.

#6 Equipment Breakdowns And Problems

An oil rig job requires a lot of complicated machinery. These machinery can breakdown or cause other issues, which in turn, puts the oil rigger at risk of an accident.

#7 Fires And Chemical Hazards

Some of the biggest and most public oil rig accidents were explosions. These explosions or chemical fires cause devastation to oil riggers, as well as to the environment. 

#8 Lack Of Experience Causing Problems

As noted before, it’s easy to get an oil rigging job as it doesn’t require paid training. Some companies may even push employees through training too quickly to get them on the job. These inexperienced oil riggers can then put their health and others in jeopardy.

At the Bottom of the Well

An oil rigging job is a well-paid job and one that can be highly coveted, but the financial rewards certainly doesn’t come without risks. If you or someone you love is involved in an accident while on an oil rigging job, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best thing you can do to protect yourself or a loved one from more trauma and stress. An expert lawyer can help get you or your loved one the best care and help while going through the stress of claims and a legal case to get you the best compensation and care you deserve.


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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved