Oil Rig Fires and Burn Injuries
Injury in the form of a burn can be life altering for an oilfield worker. Damaged skin can be burned so deeply and cause so much harm that amputations are sometimes required. Even minor burns can leave permanent scarring, a constant reminder of the pain caused by an oilfield burn injury in Texas.
Recovery from an oilfield burn injury often requires expensive, long-term medical treatment that keeps a person from returning to work. The combination of medical bills and lost wages can lead to financial disaster. If you or a family member has suffered a burn injury while employed in the oilfield, we can help. The attorney team at Richard J. Plezia & Associates has experience representing oilfield workers injured in drilling accidents, oil rig explosions, and truck accidents.
Causes of Fires and Burn Injuries
Causes of oil rig fires are similar to the causes of oil rig explosions. In many cases of oilfield accidents, a fire is the root cause. Common reasons for a fire include:
- Poorly Maintained Equipment. Valves, connections, and hoses allowed to crack and leak are a primary source for fires. Ignored maintenance standards are a common shortcut for saving time and money.
- Chemical and Fuel Spills. Some of the chemicals and fluids used in the drilling process are flammable, along with the fuels used in the trucks and equipment. Even a small spill represents a fire hazard. When a spill goes untreated, there is an increased danger for fires and burns.
- Violation of Safety Regulations. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA – has strict regulations that are designed to create a safer rig yard and help avoid practices that can lead to fires.
- Weather. Thunderstorms that produce cloud to ground lightning are a concern for oil drilling operations. A direct strike to the drill rig or yard equipment can lead to oil rig fires.
Severity of Oilfield Burn Injuries
The medical community classifies burns into four categories. If you have been burned in an oil rig fire, look over these descriptions of burns to determine the severity of your injury:
- First Degree Burn: Skin is usually very red and painful, equivalent to superficial sunburn without blisters. Healing occurs in 3-5 days and hospitalization may be required for pain control.
- Second Degree Burn: Two categories of burns – partial or full thickness. Partial thickness burns will heal in 10-21 days without grafting. Full thickness second-degree burns require excision and grafting to heal.
- Third Degree Burn: All layers of the skin are destroyed and extend into subcutaneous tissue. Areas can appear black or white and will be dry.
- Fourth Degree Burn. These burns extend into the muscle or bone.
Oil Rig Fires Houston Attorney
Oilfield employees injured by fires on the job site should seek representation for the recovery of damages. Lost wages, medical bills, and mental anguish are the three types of damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit. The negligent party that caused your workplace burn injuries should be held accountable, and the attorney team at Richard J. Plezia & Associates will make sure of it. Consultations are free, and we don’t stop fighting for you until justice is served.