The Most Dangerous Types of Offshore Oil Rig Accidents
Working on an offshore oil rig is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. The combination of heavy machinery, flammable materials, and harsh weather means that any accident can lead to serious or fatal injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control, offshore rig workers have a fatality rate that is seven times higher than the average U.S. worker. While offshore accidents occur in many different ways, here are some of the most common and most dangerous types of offshore accidents.
Companies who drill for oil offshore must transport workers to and from the rig. Usually this is done by helicopter. Due to the harsh weather conditions and the potential for mechanical failures, transportation accidents are all too common. According to the CDC, over 50% of all offshore fatalities occur during a transportation accident.
Fires & Explosions
One of the most dangerous accidents that can occur aboard an offshore oil rig is fires and explosions. Explosions such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy can cause catastrophic damage and take many lives. Unfortunately, these incidents are not uncommon. Last year alone, more than 100 offshore rigs exploded or caught fire.
Chemical & Toxic Exposure
Offshore rig workers come in contact with toxic chemicals and other substances on a daily basis. Many of the chemicals can cause severe burns if exposed to the skin. Workers also face the risk of developing long-term health problems as a result of sustained exposure to toxic chemicals.
Contact with Equipment
Offshore rig workers utilize heavy machinery on a daily basis to perform their job. If not handled properly, that machinery presents an immediate danger to everyone onboard the rig. Over 16% of all offshore fatalities are caused by contact with heavy machinery or equipment. Workers can also suffer severe injuries such as fractures if any part of their body is crushed or trapped by a piece of heavy equipment.
As in any industrial worksite, offshore oil rig workers must watch out for fall hazards. Falls from heights are one of the most common fatal accidents on offshore rigs. In order to prevent fall accidents, workers should be equipped with proper fall protection systems anytime they are working at heights.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an offshore oil rig accident, contact Arnold & Itkin today. Our team of skilled offshore injury attorneys can provide you with a free consultation about your legal rights.