There are no two ways about the fact that working in an oilfield is a dangerous job. While this line of job can be highly-paying but at the same time, it exposes you to several life-altering risks. One of the biggest causes of such injuries is explosions in oilfields. There are several ways in which an oilfield explosion can occur and if you have to analyze the cause, you have to find out who is liable for the accident.
If you ask an oilfield accident lawyer New Mexico about the ways in which you can avoid such incidents, he will first tell you to understand the causes. Let’s check out the most common causes of such fatal accidents.
Explosions and Fires
An oilfield is always filled with gas and oil. The inflammable nature of both oil and gas leaves the workers a risk of suffering from critical injuries soon after fires and explosions. You’ll be rather surprised to know about the biggest-ever PI settlement and environmental damage to be around $20.8 billion after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
As per the OSHA, such explosions occur when heat or sparks from sources like overheated machinery, cigarettes, lightning tools, welding tools, open flames, or electric sparks ignite flammable gas, hydrogen sulfide, and vapors. These flammable substances escape from equipment like shale shakers, wells, tanks, and trucks, if not detected on time. Even a small spark can lead to chain-reaction explosions that can have a catastrophic impact on the workers.
Trips and Falls
Elevated falls are one of the primary causes of worksite and oilfield injuries. Workers who are working in oilfields are all vulnerable to elevated falls as they often have to ascend drilling platforms and masts, which are often covered with grime. When oil gets mixed with wet conditions along with drilling dirt and other particles creates a muddy and slippery condition for the workers.
The OSHA demands the oil and gas industry follow certain fall prevention guidelines, which include harnessing and scaffolding in the majority of cases. The owners of oilfield sites should supervise and maintain their equipment and avoid all sorts of slippery conditions.
Apart from thermal explosions, eroding pipelines, and compressed gas can also lead to huge explosions. Defective, weak, and old equipment might burst due to pressure, leading to flying debris and shrapnel. Flying debris, even if it is the smallest in size can lead to the chest, brain, or other traumatic injuries. Such accidents usually occur when employers and drill site owners are incapable of following mandatory maintenance and safety guidelines.
The equipment manufacturer may also be held liable for selling and designing faulty drilling equipment that is not fit for industrial use. Since it costs money to check and replace pipelines that need to be changed, owners should cut down on corners and extend the life of old pipes.
Therefore, now that you are aware of the most common types of oilfield accidents, do your best to avoid them at any cost. Get in touch with a lawyer if you’re hurt due to the fault of someone else.