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The oil and gas industry is part of the backbone of America’s economy. We rely on the dedicated oil and gas workers who risk their health and well-being in this vital, but dangerous industry. Considering the fact that oilfield work involves toxic chemicals, heavy machinery, and exhausting physical labor, it will likely come as no surprise that accidents do happen. When they happen, there can be tragic injuries as a result.

Most Common Oilfield Injuries and Accidents

There are so many things that can go wrong on an oilfield. The potential for dangerous, and even fatal, accidents is ever present. Some of the most common oilfield accidents, however, are:

1. Fires and explosions 

There are a number of flammable liquids and gasses involved in oilfield work. There are also large trucks, equipment, tanks, and wells that could easily catch on fire or explode for a variety of reasons. Combine this with the varying fire starters such as static electricity and heating elements that are also present on oilfields and you have conditions rife for fires and explosions to occur. The presence of gas in large quantities means that any fire can quickly spread.

2. Oil rig collapses 

Whether a rig is poorly maintained or poorly constructed, it can become unstable and subject to collapse. Considering these rigs weigh thousands of tons, it is no wonder that construction or maintenance issues could easily lead to a collapse. Such an accident, however, can injure workers on or near the rig. Workers can be thrown off the rig completely or even become trapped underneath the collapsed rig.

3. Well blowouts 

During the oil drilling process, there may be an uncontrolled release of dangerous liquids. This, in turn, can lead to a well blowout. Considering the flammable nature of the chemicals and substances involved in a well blowout, the well blowout could end up igniting. An ignited well blowout can lead to an extremely hazardous oil fire.

4. Electrocution 

Electricity is used to power much of the equipment on an oilfield. There are also large metal towers on oilfields that can draw lightning strikes. This makes the risk of electrocution a prominent danger in oilfield work.

5. Equipment failure 

Equipment failure accidents can arise for a number of reasons. A worker may not have been properly trained in using large-scale machinery. There may have been manufacturing defects in a piece of machinery. There is also the inherently dangerous nature of working with large equipment on an oilfield.

As you can imagine, any of these oilfield accident types could result in a number of serious, and even fatal, injuries. Some of the most common oilfield injury types include:

  • Burns
  • Fractured bones
  • Head trauma
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Crushed limbs
  • Severed limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries

North Dakota Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured in an oilfield accident, you may be entitled to compensation beyond that which is provided by workers’ compensation. Pursuing such a claim, however, can be difficult. Get the benefit of skilled, experienced legal representation. The team at Pringle & Herigstad will fight for you. Contact us today.