Offshore drilling is one of the most hazardous professions, and drillship accidents often lead to serious injuries and fatalities. According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offshore workers are seven times more likely to die than any other worker in the United States.
Types of Drillship Accidents
Drillships are now the most popular drilling rigs, since they can travel much faster than semi-submersibles. However, drillships operate in deep waters, and are more susceptible to agitation by wind, waves, and currents. Life on a drillship is characterized by long work hours and little rest, also increasing the risk of accidents.
Some of the most common drillship accidents include:
- Amputations. Amputations occur when hands or feet get caught in hazardous machinery. These injuries are often caused by insufficient training, defective equipment, or a lack of safety protocols.
- Fall injuries. Falls are often caused by unsecured ladders, slippery stairways, and crowded platforms. These accidents may lead to broken bones, back and neck injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Insufficient safety inspections and equipment left in the path of workers are typical causes of these accidents.
- Chemical exposure. Oil drilling operations produce high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, and prolonged exposure can cause respiratory distress, paralysis, and cancer. These risks are highest when workers aren’t given, or don’t wear, proper face, eye, and respiratory protection.
- Explosions and fires. Due to the highly combustible nature of petroleum, fires and explosions are a constant and serious threat. These accidents can cause severe burns and respiratory distress from the inhalation of smoke and toxins.
If you’ve been injured due to an accident aboard a drillship, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses, physical impairment, past and future lost wages, and other damages.
You need representation by an experienced maritime accident attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.