Oil refineries are an essential part of our society. They take crude oil and transform it into various fuels that we use for transportation, generating electricity, and heating. This means that oil refinery workers are very important to us as well, but unfortunately, their jobs are some of the most dangerous ones that exist. There are many common accidents and injuries faced by oil refinery workers every day and spotting potential dangers can help reduce the risk of injury.
Common Oil Field & Refinery Accidents & Injuries
Injuries Caused by Machines
Heavy machinery is prevalent in the oil industry and almost every job requires handling or operating heavy machinery in some capacity. Large, heavy machines can cause serious, life altering injuries. Getting crushed or badly cut are the most common injuries associated with heavy machinery. If the engine runs hot or it uses fire, burns can occur as well. If workers and management take extra precautions around heavy machinery, these types of oilfield and refinery accidents and injuries can be reduced.
Sicknesses From Various Chemicals
Another set of common accidents and injuries faced by oil refinery workers comes from all the chemicals used in operations on a daily basis. The refinery process releases hydrofluoric acid into the air, which can cause scarred lungs with continued exposure. In extreme cases, it can cause death by asphyxiation.
Many other chemicals can affect the body internally such as brain damage, lung damage, paralysis, and even leukemia. The amount of toxic exposure is much higher in the oil refiner industry than in most other industrial jobs. Although many preventative measures are taken for workers, even the slightest unintended exposure can cause damages to workers.
Damages Due To an Explosion
While rare, explosions happen in this industry more often than in other industries. The news of major explosions is usually national news and the damages caused by the explosions are typically fatal. If a worker is exposed to an explosion, the blast could quite easily kill them or cause severe burns. Explosions can also cause structures to crumble and fall on workers leading to broken bones and head injuries. People who aren’t wearing proper ear protection could receive hearing loss from a nearby explosion, or long term tinnitus.
Dangers of Driving an Oil Truck
One of the most dangerous jobs in the oil refinery industry is the transportation of the oil. Truck drivers carrying large quantities of oil, refined gasoline, or flammable gas pose a risk for themselves and the drivers around them. Truck drivers employed by oil refineries experience the same stressors as any other truck driver, like lack of sleep and prolonged shifts. When crashes occur with trucks carrying explosive materials such as gasoline, the truck driver and the vehicles involved in the crash are at risk for a dangerous explosion. Often times these explosions are fatal, but those who survive are left with burns, bodily injuries, broken bones, and anxiety disorders resulting from the crash.
What To Do If You Fall Victim
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of an oil refinery-related injury or wrongful death as a result of an oil field accident, contact a personal injury lawyer at The Patel Law Firm in Corpus Christi, TX. Our experienced refinery accident lawyers are ready to help you through this difficult time and help you get your life back on track.