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How Poorly Maintained Equipment Leads to Increased Injuries on Drilling Rigs

Poorly Maintained Equipment Oilfield Injuries

In the extremely high-risk setting of drilling rigs, there is no room for complacency when it comes to equipment maintenance. The correlation between poorly maintained equipment and increased injuries is undeniable. Unfortunately, drilling rig operators are known to neglect regular maintenance, technological advancements, and employee training to increase their profits. If you were injured on an oil rig due to someone else’s negligence, an experienced oilfield injury attorney can help you obtain your rightful financial compensation.

Poorly Maintained Equipment Can be a Silent Threat 

When drilling rig equipment on Louisiana oil rigs is not properly and adequately maintained, the risk of sudden failures will increase. Whether it’s malfunctioning machinery, worn-out parts, or outdated safety features, neglected equipment can become a ticking time bomb, leading to accidents with severe consequences.

Compromised Structural Integrity

Regular maintenance is essential for preserving the structural integrity of drilling rig components. Over time, wear and tear can weaken important parts, making them susceptible to failure. This compromise in structural integrity poses a direct threat to the safety of the entire rig crew.

Impact on Operational Efficiency

Poorly maintained equipment is not only a safety hazard but also undermines the efficiency of drilling operations. Unplanned downtimes due to equipment failures disrupt workflow, leading to increased pressure on the crew to meet deadlines, thereby elevating the risk of errors and accidents.

Human Error is Magnified

As equipment deteriorates, the likelihood of human error rises. Fatigue, stress, and the urgency to compensate for malfunctioning equipment can amplify the potential for mistakes, further escalating the risk of accidents and injuries.

Delayed Response to Emergencies

In the event of an emergency, well-maintained equipment can be the difference between a contained incident and a catastrophic event. Poorly maintained safety systems, emergency shut-offs, or firefighting equipment can significantly delay response times, putting lives at risk.

Training Efficacy Gets Diminished

Rig crew members rely on consistent and reliable equipment performance. When equipment fails or malfunctions frequently, it diminishes the efficacy of safety training efforts, as crew members may become skeptical about the effectiveness of safety protocols.

Corrosion and Wear

Neglected equipment is susceptible to corrosion and wear, particularly in the harsh conditions of drilling operations. Exposure to corrosive substances and constant use can accelerate deterioration, weakening materials and leading to unexpected failures that pose significant injury risks.

Inadequate Lubrication

Poor maintenance often results in insufficient lubrication, causing increased friction and wear on moving parts. This not only shortens the lifespan of equipment but also heightens the likelihood of sudden breakdowns or malfunctions, potentially causing accidents and injuries.

Steps to Take for a Drilling Rig Workers’ Compensation Claim in Louisiana 

Filing a claim in Louisiana after sustaining an injury on a drilling rig due to poorly maintained equipment is a complex process. You should consider consulting an experienced attorney immediately. These are a few other steps to take:

  • Obtain Immediate Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. If you haven’t already, get prompt medical attention for your injuries. There are several medical centers to choose from in Covington, including St. Tammany Health System, Ochsner Health Center, and Lakeview Regional Medical Center.
  • Report the Incident: You should notify your supervisor, employer, or a designated company representative about the incident as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you provide a detailed account of how the injury occurred, emphasizing the role of poorly maintained equipment.
  • Document the Scene: If conditions permit, document the accident scene. You may need to take photographs or videos of the equipment involved, the surrounding area, and any visible damage. If there were witnesses to the incident, collect their contact information. Witness statements can serve as valuable evidence to support your claim.
  • Notify Your Employer in Writing: Louisiana law requires you to notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the injury. Provide details about the incident, the date and time, the nature of the injuries, and any other relevant information.
  • File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system involves filing a claim with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA). Your attorney can help you get the necessary forms and file them.
  • Follow Up on Your Claim: Your lawyer will keep you informed about the progress of your claim. You may need to attend hearings or provide additional information. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.

Can You File a Personal Injury Claim for an Oilfield Accident?

If a third party, other than your employer or a coworker, contributed to your workplace injury at a Louisiana oilfield, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim besides the workers’ insurance claim. A personal injury claim is filed against a third party, such as a negligent equipment manufacturer, property owner, or another entity not connected to your employer. You can obtain additional damages, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses, which are not covered by workers’ compensation.

An attorney experienced in workers’ compensation and personal injury laws can guide you through the process, assess the viability of your claims, and ensure proper coordination. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Louisiana is one year from the date of the injury or the date you discovered the injury. Hence, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.

Our Reputable Covington, LA Oilfield Injury Lawyers are Ready to Fight for You

The experienced attorneys at the Trainor Law Firm, LLC can ensure your rights are protected and obtain the compensation you are entitled to. We understand the unique challenges and hazards posed by the oil and gas industry, allowing us to build a strong case personalized to your specific circumstances.

With a track record of successful verdicts and settlements in oilfield injury cases, we have what it takes to fight against powerful defendants and obtain maximum damages for injured oilfield workers in even the most complex claims. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 985-545-3422 or contact us online.

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