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What are the Common Causes of Oil Rig Fires?

Posted on October 25, 2021 in

Fires on oil rigs are perhaps the biggest risk that workers onboard face. Not only are fire themselves capable of causing severe injuries, but they can also lead to deadly explosions that cause catastrophic injuries and property damage. Here, we want to discuss the most common causes of oil rig fires. Any worker injured in a fire on an oil rig could be entitled to significant compensation for their losses, particularly if the careless or negligent actions of others led to the fire.

Causes of Fires on Oil Rigs and Oil Platforms

Due to the large amounts of oil drilled and stored on these platforms, fires on an oil rig are the most dangerous threat to the safety of those on board and to the environment. Oil rigs are already some of the most dangerous places to work. Not only do oil rigs often store oil until it can be transported, but there are also workers who operate on and live at oil rig sites.

Some of the most common causes of oil rig fires include the following:

Cutting, grinding, and welding

It is crucial for every employee to have proper training when it comes to learning how to use tools that involve welding, grinding, or cutting. The open flames produced by these tools can easily ignite a fire if there is combustible material nearby.

Incorrectly handling oil or gas

If oil or natural gas is not handled according to proper procedures set forth by OSHA and other regulators, this could lead to a major accident. Something as simple as smoking a cigarette or leaving an unattended claim could result in a serious fire.

Electrical fires

Oil rigs are going to have electricity used to power the entire facility and the tools. If electrical wires or cords are damaged, this could lead to a spark that ignites a fire. Oil rig employees need to be very careful to only use electrical devices that are approved for use on oil rigs and offshore platforms. Additionally, employees need to refrain from using any tools other than what they were specifically designed for.

Cooking or kitchen fires

There have been incidents where fires have started in a kitchen area on an oil rig and then spread to other parts of the platform. It is crucial not only to prevent fires from occurring in the kitchen area but also to understand fire suppression procedures in the event of fire does occur.

Natural occurrences

There may be various natural causes that could lead to an explosion. This can include issues such as lightning strikes that could lead to electrical damage. Additionally, storm damage can significantly affect both on- and offshore oil rigs.

Working With an Attorney After an Oil Rig Fire

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a fire on an oil rig, you need to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. These cases can become incredibly complex, especially when trying to decipher how you recover compensation. In some cases, workers’ compensation laws may apply. However, maritime law may also apply depending on where the rig is located. An oil rig explosion attorney in Houston can investigate the case, determine liability, and explore all avenues of compensation recovery for an injury victim. Contact The Doan Law Firm for a free consultation.