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Oil Rig Explosion: The Dangers of a Floating City

by | Jan 30, 2024 | Personal Injury

Have you ever considered the life and typical day of a person who resides on and works on an oil rig? The job on an offshore rig can be risky, as you’ve probably already thought; this is why there is so much oil rig safety training.

Offshore oil and gas industry employees typically participate in seabed exploration and mineral resource extraction. The labor can be physically exhausting and must be done under challenging circumstances, such as bad weather or limited medical care.

Is working on an oil rig dangerous? On the harsh surface of an oil rig, a lot may go wrong. What happens as a result of oil rig explosions? Workers may suffer severe injuries such as electrocution, drowning, head trauma, or bleeding out before receiving medical attention.

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Dangers of Working on an Oil Rig

To meet the world’s energy needs, oil rigs and gas wells produce billions of barrels of oil and gas each year. The global economy depends heavily on the oil sector, and changes in oil prices affect all countries.

How dangerous are oil rigs? Unsurprisingly, an oil rig’s working environment is filled with dangers, given the constant presence of highly combustible materials and heavy machinery.

Regardless of location, employees have the right to a safe workplace and working conditions that don’t put them in danger of significant damage. But if you work on an oil rig, you’re doing one of the riskiest occupations there.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatality rate for employees on offshore oil rigs is seven times greater than that of an average American worker.

Did you know how many oil rig deaths per year? Every year, there are frequently more than 100 fatalities and much more injuries on oil rigs. Most accidents on oil rigs can be prevented if employers take safety precautions.

Common Types of Offshore Oil Rigs

Offshore drilling and exploration platforms come in a wide range of varieties. Each is created for specific uses and water depths.

Barge Rigs

Typically, barge rigs operate in waters less than 20 feet deep. The hull is brought to rest on the ocean floor after being floated to the drilling site to create a sturdy drilling platform.

Submersible Rigs

A submersible rig can be utilized in waters that are too deep for a barge but are not deeper than 50 to 70 feet. Water is poured into columns or posts until they are filled to a certain level, determining their depth.

Jack-Up Rigs

Shallow wells frequently make use of jack-up rigs. The oil platform can move up and down the legs when the water levels change since it is supported by three or four legs fixed to the ocean floor. The term “jacking” refers to the movement of the platform up and down.

Platform Rigs

Many offshore oil rigs use anchored platforms. A steel structure attached to the ocean floor supports a surface drilling rig, equipment, and living quarters. Platforms from this base can drill in various directions, divided into several types suitable for drilling at different depths.

Floating Rigs

Securing an offshore rig to the ocean’s floor in deep water is impossible. Anchors or dynamic positioning mechanisms that keep floating oil rigs above their intended target keep them in place. there are two types of floating rigs. They are:

Semi-submersible: Semi-submersibles are considered the most stable type of floating rig. Oil firms frequently use semi-submersibles for their capacity to stay stationary in less-than-ideal conditions when drilling is being considered in turbulent waters. The most recent rigs can drill down to 10,000 feet.

Drilling rigs: Most of the drilling platforms currently being built are drillships. Drillships can travel the same distance in 3 weeks, whereas semis need more than two months. As a result of serious offshore drill rig accidents, where the rig itself may collapse into the sea, there is also a risk of drowning on an offshore drilling rig.

What are the Causes of Oil Rig Accidents?

Why are oil rigs dangerous? This well-paying profession has a reputation for being among the most dangerous due to the hazardous working conditions and a high chance of drilling rig accidents and oil rig fatalities.

What are the dangers of working on an oil rig? Let’s go through it.

Oil rig explosion and fire

Fire is usually the biggest danger to cause an explosion because there is so much oil being kept. All workers are at risk since oil, and its byproducts are highly combustible and can catch fire with just a small spark.

Offshore drilling accidents are frequently fatal, as the devastating effects of Deepwater Horizon demonstrate. Oil rig explosions happen when fuel is not stored properly, when a vessel strikes an oil rig, or when it is damaged in some other way.


Uncontrolled releases of gas or oil from a well are known as “blowouts.” Blowouts occur when pressure-controlling machinery malfunctions. A blowout can become a disastrous inferno with just one spark.


Onboard oil rigs, electrocution issues, and other energy hazards are also common. Defective extension cords, lack of grounding prongs, or inadequate servicing of electronics and electrical equipment may cause these problems.

Slip and falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls from oil rig accident claims the lives of roughly 7% of oil field employees. Workers could quickly run into danger from an unanticipated object, given the presence of dangerous materials on the floor and falling tools.

Heavy equipment

Heavy equipment is needed for oil mining, including drills, cranes, forklifts, pipes, and more. When equipment is not used properly, it can malfunction.

Employees must operate these machines with total awareness. Due to the labor’s long hours and exhausting nature, many employees are hurt by careless machine operation.


Negligence is the failure to exercise the proper standard of care. Employers may be held liable for negligence if they build equipment improperly, fail to maintain it, or fail to instruct staff members on basic safety measures.

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Accidents on Oil Rigs: Common Types of Injuries

Oil rig workers are aware of their profession’s dangers as soon as they start. Any worker’s error could cause a serious catastrophic oil rig wreck. There are frequently many oil platform deaths when an explosion or fire occurs. Even those who make it through the ordeal are left with lifelong disabilities.

A lot of oil rigs accidents might be avoided with the proper care and attention from manufacturers and maritime employers.

Let’s examine some of the common oil rig injuries, such as,

Employers in the oil and gas sector must guarantee a secure working environment for their staff. OSHA and other government organizations monitor and enforce safety procedures, well-maintained equipment, and sufficient crew training for all oil rigs.

Oil Rig Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

The Deepwater Horizon explosion tragedy is among the biggest offshore oil rig explosion accidents in recent history.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (the Gulf of Mexico oil spill), is the largest marine oil spill in US history and the worst environmental disaster. It was brought on by April 20, 2010, about 41 miles (66 km) off the coast of Louisiana.

Eleven workers perished, and 17 others were injured due to the oil rig explosion and subsequent fire that caused the Deepwater Horizon to sink. The explosion’s breakout also resulted in an oil well fire, a sizable offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is considered the world’s greatest unintentional marine oil spill.

Deadliest Oil Rig Disasters

The worst oil rig accidents in history were the Piper Alpha tragedy in the North Sea. On July 6, 1988, the tragic oil rig incident claimed the lives of 167 people.

A gas leak caused by a miscommunication between shift changes led to several oil rig explosions on the platform. Only 61 of the 226 workers lived. It took over three weeks to put out the fire that resulted from this catastrophe.

What to do Following an Oil Rig Accident 2024?

After an oil rig accident, it’s critical to identify the responsible party. However, that does not imply that you should put off seeking legal counsel. When injuries occur on the sea, the legal process becomes much more challenging because of how complicated personal injury law is.

How to claim compensation for offshore oil rig accidents? An oil rig accident can be catastrophic. They may lead to lost wages, diminished confidence at work, deterioration of one’s physical condition, or even worse, death. If you are injured in an oil rig accident, contact an attorney to file a claim.

You may be eligible for financial compensation depending on the seriousness of your injury that happened in an oil rig accident. Any medical expenses and subsequent physical treatment requirements that arise from your oil rig injuries may be covered by this settlement.

Any lost wages from time away from work recovery could be covered by a settlement. In the event that your oil rig injury renders you permanently unable to work, the compensation may assist in paying your bills and costs.

Medical record reviews are essential in the procedures involved in accident on oil rigs. LezDo TechMed can review your medical records and compile all the information, which is helpful for lawyers.

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You have a deadline to file your claim for an accident on oil rig, failing which you risk losing the money you are entitled to.

To wind up,

So, what happens if you or someone you care about gets hurt? You will need an oil rig accident lawyer who is well-versed in maritime law. Oil rig explosions can result in severe injuries that can affect the rest of your life. Don’t pass up the opportunity to be compensated for your damages. You have the right to lead a comfortable and regular life.

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