What Are the Most Common Oil Rig Injuries in Houston

Houston oil rig workers confront a multitude of hazards daily. Numerous situations can lead to serious injuries, from operating heavy machinery to navigating hazardous chemicals. The skilled Houston oil field accident lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury are well-versed in the intricacies of oil rig injury cases and dedicate themselves to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve.

Oil Rig Accidents and Injuries

Is working on an oil rig dangerous? Oil rigs frequently expose workers to hazards like heavy machinery and volatile chemicals that can violate occupational safety and health standards. Some of the most common causes of oil rig accidents and oil field injuries include:

  • Equipment failures
  • Improper maintenance
  • Inadequate safety training
  • Neglected safety protocols
  • Dangerous weather conditions
  • Human error
  • Explosions and fire
  • Falling objects
  • Slip and falls

Oil rig workers can suffer severe, life-altering injuries in these preventable accidents, such as:


Flammable gases, chemicals, and materials are ever-present on oil rigs. When safety procedures aren’t followed, fires and explosions can erupt, causing devastating burn injuries. Workers may suffer first, second, or third-degree burns, requiring extensive medical treatment and prolonged recovery periods.

Crushing Injuries

Oil rig workers frequently operate heavy machinery and equipment, such as top drives, drawworks, and rotary tables. When this machinery malfunctions or is misused, workers can get caught or crushed due to oil rig pressure accidents, leading to catastrophic injuries like broken bones, amputations, and internal organ damage.

Head and Brain Injuries

Slip and fall accidents and falling objects are major risks on oil rigs. Workers can easily lose their footing on wet or oily surfaces and fall, and equipment like pipes and tools can come loose from great heights, striking workers below. Traumatic brain injuries are common and may cause permanent cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.

Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

The physically demanding nature of this type of work puts immense strain on the back and spine. Heavy lifting, repetitive motions, and falls can cause painful herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, and even paralysis. Many oil rig accident victims who experience spinal cord injuries require spinal fusion surgeries and ongoing rehabilitation.


Broken bones are another frequent oil rig injury. Falls from elevated platforms, equipment-crushing accidents, and vehicle collisions can result in fractures to the arms, legs, ribs, and other bones. While some fractures heal with time, others may require surgical intervention and cause permanent impairments.

Chemical Exposure Illnesses

Oil rig workers handle toxic chemicals and substances like drilling fluids, solvents, and mercury. Exposure to these materials in an oil spill can lead to respiratory problems, cancers, organ damage, and other occupational illnesses. Employers must provide adequate protective gear and train workers on proper handling procedures.

Oil Rig Deaths Per Year

Oil rig accidents can be fatal. How many oil rig workers die in a year? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that from 2003 to 2010, there were 128 deaths among offshore oil and gas workers. The leading causes of oil rig worker fatalities were:

  • Transportation accidents (65 deaths)
  • Contact with equipment (21 deaths)
  • Fires and explosions (13 deaths)

More recently, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported six offshore fatalities in 2020 and two fatalities in 2021. Oil rig deaths still occur at unacceptable rates, even as additional safety measures are employed.

Recent Oil Rig Accidents

Some notable oil rig accidents in recent years include:

These tragic accidents are grim reminders of the ever-present dangers oil rig workers face while drilling rigs. Employers must prioritize safety and maintain equipment to industry standards to prevent more senseless and/or fatal injuries and deaths.

What Happens If You Get Hurt on an Oil Rig?

Maritime law covers many offshore oil rig accidents and injuries. The Jones Act allows injured offshore workers to sue their employers for negligence. Victims can pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages from workplace-related injuries.

Oil rig workers may also have claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA provides medical and disability benefits to injured workers in traditional maritime occupations, such as longshore workers and shipbuilders.

Oil rig workers on land can file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage if the employer provides it. Texas employers are not required to provide workers’ compensation for their employees. If workers’ comp benefits are unavailable, depending on the circumstances of your injury, it could be possible to file a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against a person or company whose negligence or wrongdoing caused the accident that harmed you.

No matter how they occur, oil rig injury claims are highly complex. Employers and insurance companies often dispute the extent of injuries or argue that the worker was at fault. An experienced oil rig accident lawyer can fight for the full compensation you deserve and protect your rights.

How a Houston Oil Rig Accident Attorney Can Help

What Are the Most Common Oil Rig Injuries in Houston

If an oil rig accident injured you or a loved one, contact the dedicated legal team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury. We have years of experience handling complex oil rig or maritime injury claims and know how to stand up to powerful oil and gas companies.

When you work with us, we will:

  • Meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation
  • Thoroughly investigate the cause of your accident
  • Gather important evidence like safety records, maintenance logs, and witness statements
  • Handle all communications with your employer and their insurance company
  • Consult with industry experts to build a strong case
  • Negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement
  • Take your case to trial if necessary

We understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial toll an oil rig injury takes on victims and their families. Let us handle the legal process so you can focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track.

Speak to a Houston Oil Rig Accident Lawyer Today

Oil rig accidents can result in devastating injuries that impact victims for the rest of their lives. If you were one of the injured, you deserve compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury today to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Houston oil field lawyers.

There are no upfront costs; we only collect a fee if we recover compensation for you. Call 512-580-8334 or fill out our online form to get started. Help is just a phone call away.

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