Since 2011, over 450,000 workers were employed in the oil and gas industries. The processes involved in these industries frequently require the use of specialized equipment and hard-working crews.
Within a recent 5-year span, more than 500 oilfield workers were killed on the job. If you are a Texan, you most likely have a family member or friend who works in the oilfield. While this industry can be a secure way of providing for a family, it can also result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death. These instances can be prevented when the oil and gas companies involved choose to facilitate a safe work environment for its workers. All too often negligence, carelessness, and violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace safety regulations lead to avoidable incidents.
Common Causes of Oil Rig Explosions
In 2017, OSHA’s specified target industries for Texas were Drilling Oil and Gas Wells. According to an OSHA report, explosions were one of the leading hazards that caused death within the oil and gas industry.
Other related causes for oil rig explosions are:
- Defective oil rig equipment;
- Mistakes made by inexperienced workers;
- Failure to follow safety protocols;
- Poor maintenance of pipes, joints, and valves;
- Metal fatigue;
- Mechanical damages, such as dents;
- Improper installation; and
- Failure to properly train.
Preventative Measures that Should be Taken to Prevent Oil Rig Explosions
All explosions and workplace incidents can be avoided if proper safety protocols are implemented and followed. For example, a company that notices an employee who is applying an excess amount of force to a pressurized pipe should immediately stop operations until the problem is resolved. This could consist of more thorough training, hiring of more knowledgeable employees who possess the proper skill set for the job, or other safety measures. No matter the impact on production, preventative safety measures should always come first.
Unfortunately, not enough companies value safety over profits. A company that places profits over safety is destined for major problems such as a workplace injury, resulting in life-changing injuries to oilfield workers. One thing is certain. Billion-dollar oilfield companies will go to any extreme to protect their pocketbook when an accident does occur. Experience shows that these oilfield companies will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring experts to justify their negligence in protecting their bottom line.
What Should I do if I Lost a Loved One in an Explosion?
If you have lost a loved one due to an oil rig explosion, we can help you hold those responsible for your loved one’s death. Do not try to fight the oilfield company alone. Consult with a top-rated law firm that has experience and proven, life-changing results. The oilfield accident attorneys at Morrow and Sheppard LLP are no strangers to the tactics and procedural steps that are necessary to litigate oil and gas cases. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation today.