An oil rig worker enjoys sumptuous benefits as their salary is quite satisfying apart from the other necessities provided to workers. However, this is also the constant knowledge that things can go south in the blink of an eye because of the activities carried out in such an environment. Hence, a high level of dedication and attention to minute details is required by all workers to ensure that the environment is safe at all times. Nevertheless, an oil rig explosion still happens despite all the safety measures, leading to severe injuries that would pan out as a long-term disability or even death.
In an article by Arnold & Itkin Trial Lawyers, the hazardous nature of the work of oil rig workers was emphasized.
It was stated that “rig workers face many dangers every day they’re on the job. On an oil rig, every task and piece of equipment must be handled with proper training and safety procedures. The most catastrophic danger is an explosion occurring on the rig.”
Oil rigs are usually located offshore and cannot get assistance as quickly as needed because they are far into the sea.
Legal animation is an important tool that can be used in cases of oil rig explosions because the facts, which would no doubt be technical, can be easily understood by the jury through this means.
What Can Cause An Oil Rig Explosion?
Oil rig explosions do not happen every day. However, when they do occur, the effects are always catastrophic.
According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 33 offshore oil rig explosions in the United States between 2007 and 2018 were all caused by different factors.
Here are some of the causes of oil rig explosions:
Negligence plays a major role in oil rig explosions. In the oil rig exploration business, the oil rig companies may neglect to carry out their duties in the form of failure to release funds to make necessary repairs and upkeep in a bid to make extra bucks.
Unfortunately, the people who pay for this oversight are the oil rig workers. Negligence was the major cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, known as the worst oil rig explosion in history.
- Employee fatigue
The oil rig industry is a 24 hours industry and requires enough workers who can take turns working to avoid fatigue. However, if the owners of the company fail to hire sufficient staff and choose to overwork the minimal amount of workers they already have, mistakes would be inevitable, which in turn leads to impending accidents.
- Inexperienced employees
There are strict rules on how oil rigs should be operated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it includes the duty of oil rig companies to hire only qualified staff and also instruct their workers on the proper safety procedures to imbibe while offshore.
Blowouts can cause oil rig explosions. A blowout is usually when gas or oil erupts from the well. This can result from a lack of control of the pressure inside the wells or a fault in the systems that are supposed to alert workers of inordinate pressure in the wells.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster, C.P baker drilling barge, was caused by an underwater blowout.
- Defective equipment
Even though the oil rig industry is inherently dangerous, there are some safety procedures to prevent accidents, one of which is the provision of safety equipment in mint condition.
When machinery becomes defective or begins to work with lower accuracy than before, repairs or replacement must be done quickly. It is usually disastrous if oil rig companies, in a bid to cut costs decide to manage machinery instead of doing the needful.
Fire is a very dangerous element in an oil rig but cannot be completely ruled out. To prevent fire, no matter how little, from coming in contact with oil or gas, every drilling or welding activity that involves fire is always done far away from the oils. Fire from the kitchen, electricity, or cigarette smoking can cause fire and explosions. The Fieldwood energy explosion occurred while a heating system was being repaired.
Oil rig workers are vulnerable to accidents and are duly protected by law. With the help of the Jones Act, capable maritime law attorneys, expert witnesses, and an outstanding legal animation company, these causes can be illustrated to the jury to aid their understanding of the events leading to the explosions, and adequate compensation can be derived through the institution of the court.