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The 4 most dangerous aspects of working as an oil rig worker

While onshore oil rig workers don’t work at sea, they put their lives on the line for their job just like offshore employees do. In fact, data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that those who work on oil rigs have a higher risk of nonfatal injuries than those who are employed in many other professions.

One factor that puts oil rig workers at risk for getting hurt is fatigue. Employment data compiled by BLS shows that individuals who work in this profession work as many as 12 hours a day for as long as two weeks without any days off. These long hours often leave them feeling fatigued, a factor which affects their reaction times and leaves them more vulnerable to having an accident.

Large, heavy and hazardous machinery such as cranes, spinning and drilling equipment and forklifts are used on oil rigs. The noise that they make is often so loud that it’s hard for workers to hear one another. This can cause accidents to occur. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2006 showed that 11 percent of workers in this industry died of electrocution and crush injuries.

On oil rigs, there are towers and other platforms of varying heights. One statistic published by the CDC in 2006 showed that 7 percent of worker fatalities in this industry were caused by falls from one level to a lower one. Another statistic captured how 22 percent of workers died when their coworkers dropped tools down on them.

Another concerning factor that puts oil rig workers’ lives at risk is fire. The petroleum that they drill for is highly flammable. Pressure can build up when it’s mixed with the chemicals that are onboard and cause an explosion. Those types of incidents and fires accounted for 15 percent of oil rig worker deaths in 2006 according to the CDC.

From environmental to structural hazards, chemical exposure and fires, there’s a lot that can go wrong on an oil rig that can put a worker at risk of suffering severe injuries or death. A Louisiana attorney can advise you of your right to compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other expenses should you be left unable to work or lose a loved one in a workplace accident.