Oilfield Injuries in Louisiana
Louisiana’s oilfields and offshore drilling sites are very dangerous places to work. On any given day, there could be a chemical spill, fire, explosion, leak, or blowout, and possibly all of the above. These events are possible even when a jobsite is well-maintained, but too often, vehicles, pipelines, storage containers, and other oil drilling equipment are not properly inspected or safely functioning. In these cases, workers who sustain oilfield injuries may be entitled to compensation for their damages beyond traditional workers’ compensation.
At The Trainor Law Firm, we take this issue—and these industry deficits—very seriously when representing victims of oilfield injuries.
Causes of Louisiana Oilfield Injuries
Let us look at the common causes behind the high rate of accidents and injuries related to oil field operations:
Slips & Falls
Oilfield workers often need to work on drilling platforms and structures that are located high above the ground. They may suffer catastrophic head injury among other types of serious injury if they suffer a slip and fall accident.
Oilfield workers can get struck by heavy objects or objects falling from great heights and sustain serious injuries. Common examples of struck-by hazards include:
- Workers might accidentally drop their tool or any other object from an elevated structure.
- Cranes or derricks might malfunction, or the operator might fail to maneuver them properly, causing the load to fall on one or more workers at the ground level.
- Workers might be struck by vehicles used for transporting materials in and out of the oilfield – due to the negligence of the drivers, mechanical failure, and other reasons.
- Workers might be struck by moving parts in heavy machinery – due to the lack of machine guards.
One of the biggest risks associated with struck-by accidents is that the victims are often struck in the head or neck by falling objects – which can cause serious injuries to the brain or the spinal cord.
Oil Field Vehicle Accidents
According to figures published in the annual report released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health about oil and gas fatalities, vehicle and transportation-related accidents account for nearly 40% of fatalities in the oil and gas industry.
Major contributing factors for transportation accidents in the oil and gas industry include:
- Working long and irregular hours
- Inclement weather
- Driving on secondary and unpaved roads
It’s possible for pressure levels to fluctuate on certain pieces of equipment. They may register incorrect values as well because of equipment malfunction. An oilfield can have all types of equipment malfunctions and failures. This is why it is the responsibility of the relevant company to check, report, and repair anything that seems off. Serious injuries may be caused by a failure to do so.
Not following Industry Regulations
Industry regulations have been put in place by experts and the government to ensure that everyone working on an oilfield is safe. Unfortunately, there are certain companies that prefer to think about profit over the safety of their workers. This a harsh truth can be difficult to come to terms with, especially, when the overlooked regulations are making you or your loved ones face the consequences. Ignoring industry guidelines can cause a cut, burn, and fracture among other things.
Shutdown Procedure Negligence
It is possible that an oilfield operation should be shut down after looking at equipment readings. However, someone higher up in the management or on the ground may decide to continue the operation causing accidents. Not following protocol is a sure-fire way of getting people injured.
Oilfields have strict shutdown protocols for ensuring that everyone works and leaves safely. Neglecting shutdown procedures can spell disaster for everyone.
Poor training is another major risk contributing to oilfield accidents. Accidents happen sometimes because the worker wasn’t doing a good job. However, it can also happen that the worker was asked to perform someone else’s job or did not know what to do in the first place. Companies are liable to run their oilfield in a safe and efficient manner.
Repetitive Motion Injury Risks on Oil Rigs
Offshore workers working on oil rigs usually need to work under extreme conditions. Some injuries occur when the same motion is repeated over and over again. Repetitive motion injury can cause damages that are permanent or temporary in nature. It can affect the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. In many cases, nerves get pinched which causes redness, pain, swelling, numbness, tingling sensation, loss of strength, and even restricted movement in the area of the injury.
You may get exposed to chemicals that conduct electricity while doing your routine jobs. This can increase the risk of electrocution. Such accidents on an oil rig cannot be compared to an electric socket sting at home. These can prove to be life-threatening experiences resulting in severe injuries and burns.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Oilfield Injuries Lawyer
The Trainor Law Firm in Covington is prepared to take on the oil and gas companies endangering the lives of oilfield and offshore workers. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed while working offshore or in a Louisiana oilfield, please contact us immediately to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll start working right away to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.