Who is Responsible for Oil Rig Injuries

May 19, 2011 - 3 minutes read

Families of oil rig workers have to deal with tremendous anxiety as their loved ones work far from home in dangerous conditions. With 1,833 oil rigs in the U.S., hundreds of individuals are subjected to long hours, high expectations, and constant fear that an accident can happen. Oil rig injuries are often catastrophic and deadly, leaving family members wondering what went wrong. The injured should use the appropriate legal guidance to hold those responsible for an oil rig accident.

In general, the oil and gas industry has one of the highest mortality rates in the country. Companies are aware of these dangers, and it is federally mandated that they equip worksites and their employees with up-to-date safety measures. However, like any other labor intensive job, incidents occur and unfortunately workers are hurt. The ambitious nature of oil and gas companies can attribute to the lack of proper oversight. This creates a vulnerable work environment with exposure to harmful chemicals, asbestos, and hazardous materials. Poor training, improper procedures, and general error also contribute to oil rig injuries.

The most recent example of this is the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The failure of the rig’s pressure system caused an oil gusher that took the lives of 11 men and left 17 others with related injuries. The involved parties were quick to take action and responsibility for the injured. However, not all companies behave the same way.

In the case of Joe Laster, he was hastily sent out to repair a well that was over 40 years old but was deemed useful equipment. In the process of the working on the rig, Laster’s glove was snagged on the rapidly moving driveshaft. He instinctively reached out with his other hand to free himself but the force of the machine was too great. As a result, both of Laster’s arms were torn off and he lost too much blood before the emergency services could reach him. The employer was fined for $3,375 for not providing the appropriate equipment, inadequate training, and having first aid supplies on site.

It’s never easy to put a dollar amount on someone’s life or livelihood, but for your loved one, would $3,375 be enough? Should a mere fine be all that a company is given in response to their negligence? We at Johnson Law do not believe that oil rig companies should be rewarded for ignoring safety precautions. Oil rig injuries are serious and life threatening. Allow our specialized attorneys to represent your case and recover from the negligence of others.