Working in oil exploration and processing fields is a rewarding career but laden with various risks that can lead to injuries and death. Some injuries cause permanent disability, limiting a worker’s ability to earn a living. Oil rig workers face risks from multiple factors common to their workplace. These inherent risks include:
In the absence of proper protective equipment and working conditions, oil rig workers risk harmful effects from exposure to dangerous gases such as:
- Hydrogen Sulphide-Hydrogen sulphide is a lethal gas commonly found in the oil-drilling process. Exposure to the gas in high concentrations is a common cause of sudden death in oil rigs. Other symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches and unconsciousness.
- Mercury Vapor-Mercury exposure in all forms is highly toxic and can cause long-term health consequences. Since mercury occurs naturally in oil, oil rig workers can easily come into contact with it. Effects of exposure include damage to body organs like kidneys and changes to the body’s nervous system.
- Diesel Smoke-Most oil rig activities are powered by diesel. As diesel burns, it releases a mixture of gases that cause undesirable effects such as lung cancer,respiratory ailments, headaches and irritation to the ears and eyes.
Oil Rig Explosions
Oil rig explorations have an inherent explosion risk due to the flammable nature of gases and chemicals used in operations, resulting in great damages and devastation, including fatalities. These explosions can cause severe burns, amputation, hearing loss, brain injuries and death. To stand a chance for a fair verdict and fair compensation, injured workers can benefit from the services of an oil rig explosion lawyer.
Crushing by Loads or Machinery
Heavy loads or machinery common in oil rig operations cause significant injuries such as amputations and death. While some of these accidents are avoidable, they are unforeseen and pose considerable risk to unsuspecting workers.
Working in oil rig operations poses a significant risk of chemical exposure to various hazardous chemicals used in the oil exploration and production process. These chemicals are highly toxic and include benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and hydrogen fluoride, all known carcinogens.
Oddly enough, vehicle accidents are a common cause of physical injury and death to oil company employees. This mainly occurs as workers have to be transported to and fro working sites frequently, exposing them to road accident risks like every other road user.
Applicable Legislation for Claims
Various laws are useful when seeking damages for injuries suffered by oil company workers. Some of these laws include:
The Jones Act
This act applies to injuries sustained by workers in offshore oil company operations and vessels transporting oil. It empowers workers to sue for damages on injuries related to an unsafe working environment onboard.
The Oil Pollution Act
This act is helpful when seeking compensation for oil-spill related damage and injuries. It is essential to protect marine life, shorelines and navigable waters from spills by placing a removal liability on violators.
The Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas law allows compensation to the next of kin for any death occurring in the high seas as a result of negligence. Many oil operation fatalities happen in the high seas, making this a useful act for oil industry employees.