Top Injuries Oilfield Workers Face

One of the deadliest and most dangerous jobs is working in an oilfield. With so many potential dangers threatening workers, it’s important to understand potential risks and find ways to avoid them.

Safety can be overlooked at oilfields, despite the fact that there are rules and regulations that should be followed to protect workers. As a result, serious injuries and even deaths can occur on the job.

If you’re a victim who suffered injury or the relative of a victim who died from an accident, you can contact an oilfield injury lawyer to help recover the compensation that you deserve. Injuries can be debilitating and impact victims for the rest of their lives.

Here are some key types of injuries that result in the most injuries and deaths at oilfields.


The worksite at an oilfield contains numerous chemicals, many of which may conduct electricity. This increases the chances of electrocution while working in an oilfield.

Electrocution can lead to injuries such as burns and result in unconsciousness, which can lead to other injuries like broken bones, head injuries, or cuts. Electrocution can also cause death under serious circumstances. Workers should be mindful of their surroundings in the oilfield and avoid exposed electrical wires. Notify management if you identify exposed electrical wires or other electrocution risks.


Oilfield Workers

An oilfield will include a number of pieces of equipment that are used during normal operation, including massive pieces that can be dangerous if they malfunction. There is heavy and dangerous equipment used for drilling, mixing, and pulling pipe, all of which can cause serious injury and even death if it is faulty.

Such heavy machinery must be maintained regularly to limit malfunctions that can lead to injury. It is also important for workers to receive comprehensive training when asked to operate the equipment, including safety protocols and maintenance information that can help them anticipate problems before they occur. Notify management if you see any problems with the massive equipment on the worksite.


An oil well blowout occurs when there is an uncontrolled release of oil or gas during the drilling process. Blowouts typically are caused by faulty machinery, particularly with the pressure control systems that are often used at the worksite.

Blowouts pose the greatest danger if the uncontrolled release of oil is ignited. This can expose workers in the area to dangerous flames that would be difficult to extinguish. Look for the warning signs of a blowout, such as increased pressure readings and liquid spurts. Blowout preventers also should be regularly maintained in good condition.


Burns are common injuries in an oilfield, mostly due to explosions or fires caused at the site. These serious injuries can lead to severe consequences, with the most common burns including:

  • Contact Burns: These are non-flash burns typically caused by steam, molten metal, or hot surfaces.
  • Flash Burns: These occur quickly and can result in first-degree burns during an explosion or sudden outbreak of fire.
  • Electrical Burns: These can be caused by electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers, pumps, generators, and switches.
  • Chemical Burns: These are the most common and caused by onsite chemicals used during drilling.

Rig Collapse

An oil rig weighs thousands of tons, making it a deadly threat if it collapses. A rig collapse is typically caused by instability, which can be the result of sloppy construction methods used to erect it. When a rig collapses, it can cause injuries that include:

  • Back injuries
  • Severed limbs
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones

Workers should always wear safety gear and ensure the rig is stable.

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