Injuries Caused by Offshore Drilling Equipment Failures
Many offshore drilling workers use heavy machinery daily, and this equipment often causes severe injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the oil and gas extraction industries represented 74 percent of total mining sector fatalities during 2015.
Offshore Drilling Equipment Failure Causes
Drilling for oil and gas offshore is a hazardous job. Offshore drilling equipment may fail due to a number of factors, including:
- Corrosion. In a saltwater environment, neglecting equipment maintenance can easily lead to corrosion. This is a serious problem in offshore drilling, resulting in equipment failure and work-related accidents. Oil rig corrosion is an electrochemical process that creates pits in the metal surface of the platform. Over time, the increased stress corrosion places on joints or welding imperfections can cause structural fractures and breaks. This leads to serious fall accidents, resulting in broken bones and spinal cord injuries.
- Welding defects. Welding and offshore drilling each have safety risks, so they’re particularly dangerous when combined. Welding accidents occur when workers use defective equipment, or when they lack proper training. Welders experience serious electrical shock injuries due to failure of the ground fault interrupter, and a combination of hydrogen and oxygen in the arc can result in an explosion. These accidents often cause severe burns.
- Metal fatigue. Pipelines are used to transport oil and gas, and they must be properly inspected and maintained to prevent failure. These pipelines are under extreme pressure, and this pressure can weaken the metal pipe walls over time. This weakening increases the risk of serious explosions, which may cause severe burns, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, and permanent disfigurement.
If you were injured in an offshore drilling accident, you need an experienced workplace injury attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.