Health and Safety Executive statistics reveal that during the 2014/2015 reporting period, offshore oil rig accidents resulted in a total of 142 work-related injuries. One of these injuries, which was caused by a fall from height, was fatal.
Offshore oil rig facts and figures
During this period, there were, apart from the tragic fatal work accident, 16 specified injuries, formerly referred to as major injuries, and 125 injuries leading to workers requiring time off work for seven days or longer (O7D injuries). Out of the 142 injuries:
- 62 injuries were to upper limbs
- 42 injuries were to lower limbs
- 46 out of 125 O7D injuries were sprains and strains
- 12 out of 16 specified injuries were fractures
Injuries at work not accounted for in the above figures were injuries to the head, torso or general, several or unspecified parts of the body.
Other common injuries
Accidents at work on an offshore oil rig also often cause open wounds and lacerations, dislocations, contusions and other injuries listed as non-specified. Burns, spinal cord and brain injuries and amputations are also comparatively common.
Common offshore oil rig accidents
The most commonly reported work accidents on oil rigs include fires and explosions; slips, trips and falls from height; injuries by falling objects; being trapped, crushed or otherwise injured by tools or heavy machinery; and exposure to toxic and volatile chemicals, substances or fumes.
Many accidents on oil rigs are caused by one or more of the following factors:
- Improperly trained, careless, negligent or reckless workers
- Gas leaks
- Block or cable breaks
- High well pressure
- Improper use of machinery, tools or other equipment
- Poorly maintained or faulty pipe tongs, grating or other equipment
- Delayed maintenance or repair of equipment
- Combustible or improperly stored substances and chemicals
- Poor communication
Weather conditions, such as storms, fog, heavy rain, snow and ice, as well as rough seas can also cause accidents on an oil rig.
Oil rig workers’ rights
Many workplace accidents on oil rigs offshore can and should be prevented by proper risk assessment and implementation of measures necessary to minimise potential risks. If such measures were not implemented and workers subsequently sustain injuries in offshore oil rig incidents, their employers could be liable to pay their industrial injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline
Over more than 15 years, we have built up an impressive track record in handling and successfully completing oil rig injury claims.
Take advantage of our nationwide legal team’s extensive experience and expertise by ringing our no-obligation 24/7 freephone numbers for landlines and mobiles on 0800 689 0500 and 0333 500 0993 today.
Date Published: April 29, 2016
Author: Accident Advice