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What Kinds of Accidents Occur on Drilling Rigs?

You see huge oil drilling rigs out in the ocean and wonder how slippery the platforms are with all the oil around. With so much oil-based mud on the rig floor, drilling rig accidents in Louisiana are common. While it may seem impossible to keep the work area clean, using safety precautions can help eliminate many of the accidents that occur on drilling rigs. 

The Occupational Health & Safety Administration lists several safety standards for crude oil rigs in an effort to keep workers safe and prevent injuries. From 2006 through 2009, there were 1,298 accidents on rigs and platforms and 30 deaths. In 2010, 11 workers were killed in one accident alone. The major causes of accidents and injuries on rigs are as follows:

  • Slip and falls. Workers injure their knees, backs and other body parts from slips and falls on mud accumulated on drilling rig floors
  • Handling of the drilling slips. Serious lower back injuries result when too few workers are used to pull drilling slips. Injuries with drilling slips can also happen when the driller improperly operates the drill pipe or the rig tilts, which causes the slips to hang up or get caught.
  • Work performed in the derrick. The derrick hand pulls pipe in or out of the fingers of the drilling rig. If fingers become bent or aren’t maintained properly, it can cause the derrick hand to struggle with the pipes. The speed at which the pipe is being racked in or out of the fingers can also cause stress on the derrick hand. 
  • Explosions. Any number of factors can cause an explosion and these can be the most devastating as loss of life typically occurs.

Maritime accident cases in Louisiana can involve serious injuries that occur because of working on a drilling rig. Although the driller and assistant driller are responsible to supervise the drilling floor, knowing what might happen can assist workers in being mindful of safety rules and possible consequences.

The Baton Rouge attorneys at Marks and Lear PLC know how dangerous working on drilling rigs is for workers and collaborates with clients to get the compensation they deserve.

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