America, and the world as a whole, relies on oil fields to keep both industry and people moving. That’s why oil field workers are among the most valuable workers of them all and have a right to be able to work in a safe environment at all times. Unfortunately, even with today’s technological advances, oil fields are becoming an increasingly dangerous place to work. Here are the three worst oil field accidents of all time, along with advice on what to do if you find yourself involved in an onshore or offshore oil field accident.
Wherever there are oil fields worked on, accidents can happen, even in highly industrialized countries with a relatively good health and safety record. As an example of this, the worst oil field accident ever happened in the coastal waters of the United Kingdom in 1988’s Piper Alpha oil rig disaster. The problems started when a pressure safety valve was turned off during maintenance work. When a new crew started their shift, they should have been told not to turn on the affected pump, but the instruction was never given, resulting in a series of explosions. Something that could so easily have been prevented resulted in the loss of 167 lives.
Alexander L. Kielland
The second highest number of deaths after an oil field accident came not from fire and explosion but drowning. The Alexander L. Kielland was supposed to provide a safe platform for oil workers on Norway’s Edda oil rig, and it was used not as a drilling rig itself but a floating hotel, which included a restaurant and cinema. In 1980, under high winds, it capsized. It was found that the rig that was supposed to lower life boats was faulty, and rescue boat took over an hour to arrive, by which time 123 workers had died.
2010 saw the worst oilfield disaster in living memory in the USA as an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. The major contributing factor was a damaged blowout preventer, which had not been inspected for five years. Despite a number of warning signs, an explosion occurred and caused a fire that tragically led to the deaths of 11 workers, with many more injured.
What to Do If You’re in an Oilfield Accident
As you can see, oilfield accidents can happen for many reasons, and there are dangers at onshore oil fields as well as at offshore rigs, including plant explosions. If you’re involved in an accident, your first step should be to get medical help. Don’t be pressured into signing anything, and instead, seek expert help from a houston plant explosion attorney like Zehl & Associates. They’re specialists in getting the maximum compensation payouts for workers who have suffered from oil field accidents of all kinds. They can talk you through the process and fight your corner to ensure you get what you need and deserve.
Being an oil field worker can be a highly rewarding job in more ways than one, but an oil field accident can change your life forever. If that happens to you, it’s essential that you call oil field accident solicitors you can trust as soon as you can. Keep a number handy – you may never need it, but it’s good to know that help is just a call away.