Radiation Hazards and Injuries in Offshore Oil Platforms
It’s a widely accepted fact that oil and gas production is one of the most hazardous jobs. Oilfield operations expose workers to the risk of severe injuries and fatal accidents. Unfortunately, workers on offshore oil platforms have another thing to worry about – toxic radiation from radioactive products and waste.
If you or someone you know has suffered radiation injuries while working on an offshore oil platform, you should speak with a knowledgeable oil and gas injury attorney about your legal options to claim damages.
Causes of Radiation Exposure on Offshore Oil Platforms
Radiation exposure occurs primarily due to human error. However, there can be other causes, such as:
Radioactive equipment manufacturers are required to observe the highest standards of care. Their equipment needs to hold up to radioactive rays when put in use. Equipment manufacturers need to take care throughout the manufacturing process. Defective radiation equipment may expose a worker to high doses of toxicity. This may cause severe health complications.
Not Following Safety Protocol
Technicians handling radioactive equipment are required to follow standard care and protocol to safeguard and protect everyone involved. Not following these safety protocols can result in radiation exposure.
Lack of Maintenance
In an offshore oil platform, any equipment that emits radiation needs to be properly maintained. Lack of proper maintenance can cause exposure among workers.
Lack of Proper Training
You need the right training for handling radiation equipment. Employers are required to impart proper training to all workers based on their position and level of skills. If you get injured because of poor handling of equipment, a radiation exposure lawyer will be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Signs of Radiation Exposure in an Offshore Oil Platform
Symptoms of radiation exposure are not always readily visible. In many cases, the symptoms may not begin to show until toxicity has reached an advanced level. These are a few common symptoms of radiation exposure:
- General body weakness
The initial symptoms of radiation exposure are similar to that of ordinary diseases. Many people blame their symptoms on fatigue and other reasons. They downplay the need to get a medical checkup done. You should always seek immediate medical attention when you experience any of these symptoms on an oil rig.
Radiation exposure consumes the body slowly. Symptoms usually occur in stages. You can determine your primary health concern sooner with immediate medical attention. This may also prevent the condition from becoming worse. Radiation toxicity can easily cause cancer. You need to make sure that you can manage your symptoms before they become worse.
It would also help to learn about the top 5 deadly gases that workers may encounter.
Types of Radiation Exposure in Offshore Oil Platforms
There are several Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) on Earth as detailed by the Environmental Protection Agency. These include:
- Thorium and decay products
- Radium and decay products
- Uranium and its decay products
However, NORM can become exposed and concentrated during the process of extracting gas or oil. This is when it converts to Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM.) Many workers get exposed to waste generated during the drilling process. TENORM is usually present in the following:
- Scale inside of piping and tubing.
- Produced water pumped from wells.
- Contaminated equipment.
Potential Damages for an Offshore Radiation Injury
Getting a radiation-related injury can result in expensive medical bills, lost wages, and physical pain. You should consult with a proven radiation hazard attorney to get the compensation you deserve. In some cases, this may include permanent disability benefits as well.
In some cases, you may also be able to receive additional punitive damages. This is usually when the injury is caused by gross carelessness or negligence. Speaking with a competent workers’ compensation attorney is necessary for ensuring your rights are protected.
Steps to Take after an Offshore Injury in Louisiana
Notify Your Employer
You should let your employer know of your symptoms promptly following an accident. It can be difficult to get the compensation you deserve if you fail to report the accident in a timely manner. It may prove to be problematic for your employment status as well.
Seek Medical Attention
Never try to downplay an accident or symptoms resulting from a workplace injury. You need to get the medical attention you deserve immediately. This is essential for your health and future injury claim. Your visit to the emergency room will be helpful in establishing a connection between the injuries and the accident. You need to follow all instructions recommended by the physician. This includes keeping up with all follow-up appointments.
Speak With an Oil Rig Attorney
It is never too early to get in touch with an experienced and dedicated offshore oil and gas platform attorney. Your attorney will help you take the right steps to strengthen your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Legal Help is Here from Experienced Oil and Gas Injury Attorneys in Louisiana
If you or someone you know experienced toxic radiation exposure or is suffering from a radiation-related illness, the seasoned toxic tort attorneys at the Trainor Law Firm, LLC will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys will investigate the circumstances thoroughly to prepare a compelling case for damages. To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 985-900-2250 or complete this online form.