While numerous hazards surround workers in the oil and gas industry, a large construction accident this week served as a reminder that the kinds of heavy machinery involved in this industry are inherently dangerous from the very beginning. Eighty-nine workers at a construction yard in Singapore suffered injuries when a jack-up rig partially collapsed underneath them.
On top of the hazards that often arise when working with dangerous substances like crude oil, exposure to heavy machinery adds to the risk of gas injuries. Defective equipment and rigs are involved in many accidents.
Jack-up rigs are a good example of these dangers. As the most popular drilling facilities for off-shore use, jack-up rigs are common in the Gulf of Mexico. These rigs are floating platforms attached to three or four legs. When a jack-up rig arrives in its intended location, the legs lower to the ocean floor and then jack the platform itself up above the surface of the water.
In this accident, one of the jacking mechanisms somehow malfunctioned, causing only one side of the platform to collapse suddenly to one side. The unexpected shift caused the workers to fall and 89 of them suffered injuries.
Large accidents like this bring complicated and technically sophisticated issues that require experienced representation. These are big, difficult cases with serious consequences for the victims. On top of the massive amount of injured workers, a lawsuit would require a complex investigation into what caused this powerful piece of machinery to collapse.
Source: Rigzone, “89 Workers Hurt in Jurong Jack-Up Rig Accident,” Jon Mainwaring, Dec. 3, 2012