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4 on-the-job hazards oil rig workers encounter 

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Uncategorized

Whether you work on an oil rig out in the Gulf of Mexico or in a land-based oil field, there are no shortages of dangers that can maim or even kill you. Brave workers endure the dangerous conditions because of the higher wage scale oil field jobs offer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists oil rig workers as having enhanced risks of suffering nonfatal injuries in comparison to those employed in other fields. Let’s examine some of the common on-the-job hazards that often injure oil field employees.

Machinery malfunctions and failures

There are lots of moving parts and machinery that weigh many tons used on oil fields. At any given moment, a crane could tip, a forklift could fall into a pit or another piece of machinery could pin workers to a wall, crushing their internal organs or limbs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also cites electrocution as an ever-present danger on an oil rig.

Fires and explosions

The highly flammable nature of petroleum and its byproducts make explosions and fire a real danger to oil and gas workers. Chemicals like hydrogen sulfide necessary for offshore drilling operations can also easily catch fire and burn those in the vicinity. 

Oil wells in the Gulf are pressurized, and when they explode, fatalities are common. Even if the roughnecks survive, they can be horribly burned and suffer terribly during the lifesaving measures.


Workers don’t often consider the risks fatigue presents in the oil field. But not getting enough rest leads to more accidents because the workers’ reaction time is slowed. The problem is compounded by the long shifts worked by the oil field crews. They can work up to 12 hours a day for two weeks at a time out in the Gulf on a rig. Sleeping in close quarters with other crew members can make getting a restful night of sleep nearly impossible.

Tool injuries and falls

Tools dropped from a height that strikes those working on the ground can prove fatal. A fall off of oil rigs or ladders when ascending to the top of storage tanks can also be deadly.

Were you injured in the Texas oil field?

If you suffered serious injuries from an oil field accident, filing a claim for damages is the first step toward resolution.