Common Causes of North Dakota Oil Field Accidents and Explosions
25th February 2022
Oilfield work is one of the most dangerous occupations. And when an accident occurs, it can have devastating consequences. There are many factors that contribute to a disaster, such as an explosion, that can result in life-altering injuries as well as fatalities. When something this terrible happens, the victims, as well as the family members of workers who lose their lives, are entitled to compensation.
The attorneys with Sand Law can help you pursue that compensation if you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in an oilfield accident. If you would like to learn more, we urge you to contact us online or call 701-609-1510 as soon as you can to schedule a free consultation.
How Does Negligence Cause Oil Field Accidents and Explosions?
In far too many instances, oil field accidents and explosions are entirely preventable. That’s what makes the consequences even more tragic. Executives and supervisors are expected to do everything they can do to make this type of dangerous environment as safe as possible. This means they need to regularly – and thoroughly – inspect machinery and equipment.
When those people fail to do their jobs correctly, horrible accidents can be the result. A faulty piece of equipment can burst into flames in mere seconds. And those responsible for not properly checking that equipment need to be held accountable.
Causes of Accidents and Explosions
If you’ve been in an oilfield for any amount of time, you’ll quickly realize that danger lurks just about everywhere you look. As you can well imagine, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, leading to a devastating accident. These are just a few of the more common causes of oilfield disasters.
Oilfield workers who are new to the job may not be properly trained in safety procedures and industry regulations. They might not yet know how to correctly use the machines and other pieces of equipment that drill for oil and extract it.
Are those workers to blame when a horrible accident occurs due to their inexperience? Not necessarily. More of the fault lies with the company that failed to provide them with the training they needed to perform their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. Many oil extraction companies are more focused on profits than safety. They are in such a rush to generate as much revenue that they possibly can. As such, they often overlook thorough training.
When that happens, and someone is severely hurt or killed as a result, those companies must be forced to pay – dearly.
Oilfield work is exhausting, even for the most experienced professionals. It’s not at all uncommon for these employees to put in 12-hour shifts. Oftentimes, those shifts are even longer, since the average oil drilling site is a 24-hour operation.
It’s only natural for someone who is overworked to make a mistake. The stakes are as high as they are in an oilfield. So even a simple error can quickly turn tragic. This is another instance where the oil company needs to be held responsible for expecting employees to work in a way that exceeds their capabilities to do so safely.
Poor Safety Procedures
Even though the oil and gas industry is heavily regulated, that doesn’t keep some companies from cutting corners in order to make a buck. We’ve seen far too many cases of operators flat-out ignoring safety procedures. Because doing so would slow down work and cost them money. That blatant disregard for safety inevitably leads to an explosion, or another type of terrible accident.
Defective Oil Field Equipment
Operators trying to maximize profits will often continue to use outdated, faulty equipment. This increases the risk of an accident as a result. Oilfield work is dangerous enough, even when employees use new equipment. When that machinery is dilapidated, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Even a tiny leak from a corroded pipe or storage tank can result in a horrific explosion when exposed to an ignition source. If defective oil field equipment is found to have contributed to an accident, the operator will likely face significant liability.
Determining Fault for an Accident or Explosion at an Oil Field
In order to prove that liability, however, you’re going to need solid evidence. The kind of evidence only a skilled oilfield injury attorney can gather. Problems like the ones detailed above don’t just happen overnight. They develop over time due to negligence. Operators have no time for delays, because that cuts into profits. Performing regular maintenance will often do just that. So operators choose to look the other way.
Even though operators are typically to blame when an accident occurs, there are other parties that could share liability. A piece of equipment that failed could have been negligently manufactured. This opens the door for a potential lawsuit against that manufacturer. Victims of oilfield accidents and explosions have the legal right to pursue action against any person or entity that contributed to the accident through negligence.
That means this kind of case can be incredibly complex. This requires the experience of an attorney who knows how to perform a thorough investigation to identify all liable parties.
Do I Need to Hire a North Dakota Oil Field Accident Attorney?
Oilfield operators will typically have high-priced, high-powered attorneys by their side in order to protect themselves from lawsuits stemming from accidents and explosions. In order for you to have the best chance possible of obtaining the compensation you deserve, you’ll need an attorney working for you who has just as much experience, and just as much skill.
That’s exactly what you’ll get when you choose Sand Law. We are extremely familiar with this complicated area of the law. And we have the resources to perform an exhaustive, thorough investigation. We’ll uncover exactly why the incident occurred. We also have a track record of success in these kinds of cases.
Please get in touch with us as soon as you can. The sooner you do, the sooner we can investigate the cause of the accident and identify all potentially liable parties. Schedule a free case review by calling 701-609-1510 or contacting us online.