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The oil and gas industry is an extremely lucrative business. It is no surprise then that it attracts thousands of employees in Baton Rouge every year. Employment positions on oil rigs often come with very large salaries, and people often do not need extensive experience, nor are they given a lot of training. Unfortunately, accidents on oil rigs are common, and when they occur, they result in catastrophic injuries.

Working on an oil rig is dangerous and difficult. Below, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer outlines the most common types of injuries, what causes them, and how you can claim compensation if you have been hurt.

Common Oil Rig Injuries

Workers in the oil industry often feel pressured to sacrifice their own personal safety for productivity. There are often no clear training protocols for navigating rig decks that are at great heights or for operating heavy machinery. Workers also must regularly handle dangerous materials without receiving much training on how to do so safely. Workers are also not given much training on how to properly clean and maintain the equipment they use, which can cause it to become faulty and dangerous. This can result in some of the most serious accidents that cause catastrophic injuries. The most common of these are as follows:

  • Limb amputations
  • Finger or fingertip amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spine injuries
  • Puncture wounds and lacerations
  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss

Oil rig injuries such as chronic illnesses and burns are not as common, but they do still happen. This is due to the fact that workers in oilfields are often required to handle dangerous materials, such as hydrogen sulfide gas. These materials are highly combustible, and fires often occur. Workers in oilfields are also commonly around diesel particulate and silica matter. These hazardous materials can damage the eyes, skin, and lungs. If oilfield workers are negligent when working with these materials, they can suffer burns and acute illnesses as a result.

Common Causes of Accidents on Oil Rigs

The oil industry is one that is in very high demand. Due to this, employees and employers alike push themselves to the brink of productivity. They may try to cut corners, ignore safety precautions, and try to improve productivity in other ways. The most common causes of accidents on oil rigs are as follows:

  • Drug use: Drug use is a very big part of the culture in the oil and gas industry. This side effect is a combination of high wages as well as the highly demanding nature of the job. Workers often use stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine to stay alert. While many companies are implementing strict drug testing, abuse is still a problem that contributes to many oil rig accidents and injuries.
  • Insufficient training: One of the biggest draws for employees in the oil industry is that they can earn high wages without needing to submit to a great deal of training. Still, any worker on an oil rig should receive sufficient training that allows them to perform their job safely. When proper training is not provided, it can result in a serious accident that results in a catastrophic injury.
  • Lack of safety precautions: Proper training is not the only safety measure that should be made available to workers in the oilfield. Proper safety equipment, as well as making sure it is adequately maintained, is also important. According to OSHA, equipment and chemicals should be actively monitored to ensure they are safe. OSHA also recommends utilizing safety control devices such as two-handed controls, tripwires, and barriers such as protective shields and gates.

Workers’ Compensation and Oil Rig Injuries

An oil rig injury is typically very serious and prevents an employee from returning to work. In these cases, workers’ compensation may be available to help employees recover their medical expenses and a percentage of their lost income. Many oil rig workers are reluctant to file for workers’ compensation because they worry their employers will retaliate against them. This is against the law; any workers should file a claim as soon as possible to protect their case.

In other instances, personal injury claims are more appropriate after an oil rig injury. A personal injury claim can be filed against any entity that caused the accident, and that is not related to the worker’s employee. For example, when a defective machine causes a worker’s injury, the injured party may have a valid claim against the manufacturer.

Our Industrial Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge Can Help After an Injury

If you have been injured on an oil rig, you need sound legal advice. At Big River Trial Attorneys, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer can advise you of your legal options and help you navigate any avenue to claim the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at (225) 963-9638 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case and to learn more.

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