Working on an oilfield is a particularly dangerous way to make a living. These worksites are prone to toxic chemical leaks, gas explosions and falls from significant heights.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a 100-percent growth in oilfield injuries since 2007. Furthermore, unstable gas lines and explosions can harm the surrounding environment and any people within those communities.

oil field and pump jack on sunset

If you were the victim of an oilrig accident, then you may be entitled to compensation to pay for lost income, hospital bills and other damages. An Albuquerque personal-injury attorney from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC can evaluate your case and handle the legal side of your claim. To learn more, call our office today at 505-207-4401.

In the meantime, read on to learn about four common oilfield accidents:

  1. Explosions

Oilfield explosions happen alarmingly often. Burning vapors erupt under extreme pressure. When the pressure is too high, it blows the top of the container.

This is why pressure systems are mandatory safety precautions on oilfields, but they can fail. Additionally, welding sparks can accidentally cause gas explosions and fires. Anyone in close proximity may suffer a variety of injuries – from broken bones to head wounds.

  1. Equipment Malfunction

Oil and gas extraction relies heavily on the use of complex machinery. This is why regular maintenance is so important for accident prevention. Any failure in equipment maintenance can lead to a variety of serious problems, including:

  • Valves and pipes that corrode over time;
  • Malfunctioning machinery;
  • Loose tongs or worn cables;
  • And dangerous design failures.
  1. Fires

Oilfield fires typically occur when pressurized gas erupts and encounters sparks. Because of the extremely high fuel volumes on oilfields, these fires are challenging to extinguish.

The procedure for controlling oilfield fires is complex: Workers first create shockwaves with explosives, which distances the burning fuel away from the area. Then, they cap the container to stop the oil from flowing. These fires often cause potentially fatal burn injuries.

  1. Inadequate Training

Because oilfields are so dangerous, workers must constantly be alert and focused to stay safe in the fast-paced environment. If employees do not complete the correct training, they become a danger to themselves and a liability to everyone else on the worksite. Minor mistakes can cause major catastrophes, injuring numerous people in the process.

It is critical that workers understand how to operate oilfield machinery. More important, they must have extensive knowledge about safety procedures in the event of an emergency. Understanding safety protocols reduces the number and severity of injuries in these environments.

Statistics show that approximately 4,000 oilfield workers suffer serious injuries each year. Falls are the main cause of nonfatal injuries, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all injuries on oilfields.

Vehicle accidents are also common. Another cause of concern is falling objects. Workers are constantly at risk of projectiles hitting them, some of which can cause serious harm. Overexertion is another common problem associated with oilfield accidents.

If you or a loved one is facing financial hardship due to an injury on an oilfield, then an Albuquerque personal-injury lawyer from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC may be able to help. Call our office today at 505-207-4401 to schedule a consultation.