Drill rigs are dangerous places to work. If you were injured on a drill rig or hurt when a drill rig you were working on collapsed, our attorneys can review your case to see if you are eligible for compensation. An experienced drill rig accident lawyer at Baron & Budd can help you get the money you deserve.
Workers on offshore drill rigs face daily hazards including the potential for fires, explosions, falling objects, malfunctioning machinery and more. While OSHA law mandates a certain safety standard be maintained on all offshore rigs, the reality is that one negligent act by any party in such a dangerous environment has the potential to snowball into a situation where many lives are lost and even more are injured.
Private contractors are often hired to complete the drilling of oil and gas wells before an oil company comes in to continue with the extraction and transport process. Among drilling contractors, 378 deaths were reported during the years 2003 to 2013, a number reflecting the highest fatality rate per number of workers within all sectors of the oil and gas extraction industry. Injury rates recorded while drilling for oil or natural gas were significantly higher with over 2,600 reported during the year 2011 alone.
Our injury attorneys can help you file a claim, call now to see if you are eligible to file a lawsuit for drill rig injuries.
What Causes Drill Rigs to Collapse?
Besides equipment failure due to faulty manufacturing or flawed design, there are many potential reasons for a drill rig to collapse including
- Improper structure maintenance
- Inadequately trained maintenance crews
- Unsupervised workers
- Lack of Thorough Inspection
- Old, outdated equipment
- Manufacturing defects
- Human Error
Any one of the factors listed above could lead to a drilling rig equipment failure and subsequent collapse. When drilling rigs collapse, the injuries are often catastrophic and fatal.
Common Accidents On Offshore Drilling Rigs
Drill rigs, whether they are part of a fixed style oil platform or contained within a jackup or floating rig have numerous inherent dangers which can result in any of the following injuries as well as death:
- Head, neck, back and/or spinal column injuries after a slip and fall accident or being struck by a falling object;
- Burns due to proximity to fires or explosions;
- Respiratory distress resulting from exposure to toxic fumes;
- A loss of fingers or limbs and/or damage to internal organs when crushing forces come into contact with the body.
Frequent Causes of Drilling Accidents and Fatalities
Offshore drilling rigs are exposed to harsh climate conditions, which have a tendency to weaken components that are intended to stabilize them in the water. Occasionally, an entire rig will collapse, often resulting in significant loss of life. Any of the following issues may be additional contributing factors to injuries and deaths on a drill rig:
- Blocks or cables that break, potentially releasing a heavy object;
- Catheads that are improperly placed or begin to slip;
- Unsafe working conditions such as oil on walkways which creates a slip and fall hazard;
- Negligence and/or errors while operating equipment;
- Drug and/or alcohol use by employees during working hours;
- Improper training and/or use of safety equipment.
Drill Rig Workers Covered Under The Jones or Lands Act
Workers who have suffered an injury on a drill rig (or their family members in the case of a wrongful death suit) may be able to receive financial compensation if their employers can be proven negligent in any manner that ultimately caused the injury. Injuries that occur on a fixed drill rig platform are covered by The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, but those that occur on a floating or jackup rig are covered by The Jones Act under maritime law.
Manufacturer Liability in Rig Collapse Injury Lawsuits
The extreme conditions surrounding drill rigs require the utmost care be taken during the design and manufacturing of each component. If a faulty part causes a rig to collapse, seriously injuring or killing people, the manufacturing company will likely be held liable in a lawsuit for damages. Examples of a faulty part on a drill rig include: a high tension cable snapping, killing someone because of a manufacturing defect causing weakness; or electrocution on a crane caused by improperly marked or defined safety gear for workers. Chapter 82 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code governs product liability claims, setting forth the rules for who can file a lawsuit for injuries caused by faulty products and what must be proven in court.
Additionally, if the seller of a drill rig component has altered or misrepresented the product in any way, or if the original manufacturer has been deemed insolvent or is not within the jurisdiction of the court, the seller may also be held liable for damages.
Schedule a Consultation with a Drill Rig Injury Lawyer
Call 866-974-0818 or complete our contact form today to schedule a complimentary consultation with an attorney at Baron & Budd. We have helped hundreds of oilfield workers recover damages, and receive compensation through lawsuits and settlement for accidents on rigs. Let us help you get the money you deserve.