Chiksan Pipe Accident Lawyers

Injured by Chiksan Piping? Arnold & Itkin Is Here to Help.

Chiksan piping is a type of marine loading arm, used as an alternative to cargo hoses. Because the piping is rigid metal, it can transfer liquids or gases at higher speeds and pressures. For that reason, Chiksan piping and fittings are installed on thousands of ships worldwide. Chiksan fittings and joints are joined by ball-bearing swivels that can turn 360 degrees in any plane, allowing the rigid piping to follow the movement of the ship as it transfers its cargo.

In addition to the swivel joints, the pipes contain an automatic emergency release mechanism, so if the cargo pressure exceeds the limits of the piping, it immediately disconnects from the ship, ceases any pumping, and closes the isolating valves on either end. The swivel joints and the emergency release valves in the piping are the most important elements, which means they require frequent and consistent maintenance.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a Chiksan pipe, contact our attorneys for a free case evaluation. We have won more than $20 billion for our clients.

About Chiksan Piping

The name "Chiksan" is derived from a brand that became synonymous with this kind of swivel joint. Over time, the brand name has been adopted colloquially to refer to similar products in the industry, much in the way brand names like "Kleenex" or "Xerox" have been used generically to refer to tissues or photocopying. Chiksan piping systems are designed to handle high pressures and can be made from a variety of materials to be compatible with different fluids. 

Chiksan piping is often seen in offshore drilling rigs and oil transfer stations. It is beneficial in settings where piping needs to move or pivot frequently, such as during the transfer of drilling mud or when offloading from a moving vessel.

Dangers of Chiksan Pipes

Without maintenance, the ball bearings in Chiksan piping can wear down, similar to a differential in a car. However, the physics of the piping is far different from a car's differential gearbox—weak joints will cause the equipment to fall apart suddenly, even if it seems to operate normally. This can result in devastating injuries, posing a danger to workers.

In one real-life incident, a Chiksan swivel joint was utilized during the cleaning of an oil rig’s drilling equipment. The entire operation was conducted without any problems and the job was completed. 30 minutes later, however, a worker was walking under the equipment when the top joint came apart unexpectedly. It plummeted to the ground, striking the worker.

Injuries can occur if Chiksan pipe components are:

  • Assembled incorrectly
  • Combined incompatibly
  • Severely worn, eroded, or corroded
  • Substituted with subpar products

Poor valves or a malfunctioning emergency release mechanism can also result in the pipe suddenly bursting or releasing potentially dangerous chemicals all over the workers who are handling the cargo. There is video evidence of what happens when a Chiksan component causes fluid to transfer at much higher pressures than it can handle—it causes the pipe to detach suddenly and unsafely, spilling oil or releasing gas into the surrounding air.

Proximity is also an issue when it comes to Chiksan piping. If proper safety measures are not taken to keep crew members clear of pipes, which may move suddenly, they may be struck and seriously injured or even killed

Chiksan Pipe Maintenance & Inspections Are Crucial

Chiksan pipes, integral in the high-pressure pumping of materials like gasoline and liquid cement, play a pivotal role in offshore operations. Their effectiveness, however, is contingent upon regular maintenance and inspection. Neglecting these can lead to vulnerabilities around the joints, potentially resulting in pressure explosions or other hazardous incidents. Properly connecting these pipes using hammer unions and ensuring they're tightened by belting and nut lugs is essential. A minor oversight, such as a damaged segment or a loosened lug nut, can precipitate severe accidents. 

Especially on an oil rig, where the pace of operations is rapid, even seemingly small lapses can have grave consequences, like a Chiksan pipe burst. For the safety of all workers, it's not only vital to maintain and inspect these pipes routinely but also to establish a safe distance around them to prevent accidents from striking movements.

Why Contact Our Firm?

What sets any attorney apart is their reputation for ethical practice, trial experience, and history of case results. Arnold & Itkin attorneys are true litigators—our team has spent more time in front of juries in the last few years than most law firms spend in their entire careers, and we’ve recovered more than $20 billion for our clients.

We have faced the world’s most powerful companies and held them accountable for their treatment of their workers—and we’ve made sure our clients never have to worry about their medical bills ever again. When clients hire us, their court opponents know our names, and they know that we are prepared for battle.

If a malfunctioning Chiksan pipe injured you, Arnold & Itkin is ready to help. Contact us today for a completely free consultation.

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