What are the worst Oil Rig Accidents?
Working on oil rigs whether onshore or offshore can be hazardous and it could cause some serious damages, and it can even cost people their own lives. In fact, according to a new study carried out by the StandOut CV website and the UK Government, oil rig workers have the third most dangerous job in the world.
Since we are talking about this risky job, man can wonder what are the worst oil rigs accidents, but the right question can be: what are the leading causes of this catastrophic disaster?
Before starting to mention the reasons behind the worst oil rig accidents, we should highlight that this industry requires immense training because one mistake can lead to heavy losses. In order to take a close look, The Center for Disease Control “CDC” conducted a ten-year study calculating the total number of deaths that took place from 2003 to 2013 is 1,189. Although this number is still questionable, the fact that we need to understand the reasons behind these accidents is still vital.
What are the top reasons behind the oil rig accidents?
- Blowouts: Offshore oil rig disasters are usually related to blowouts, they happen when there’s an uncontrolled flammable material leak such as an oil or gas leak from the well, which usually happens due to failure of the pressure control system.
- Equipment and Structural Failures: The poor quality of equipment manufacturing neglect of safety cautions and structural defects can cause major catastrophes in the oil rig platform.
- Weak Safety Procedures: Although the oil rig workers take very detailed training before even starting their jobs, the implementation of poor safety protocols while using equipment can lead to unpredictable results.
- Human Factor: Some oil companies push their workers to work quickly not aware of everything happening around them, sometimes they can slip and fall. Thus, the site managers need to take full responsibility to keep the deck dry and check that all workers completely understand the safety instructions.
- Extreme Weather Conditions: Bad weather such as hurricanes, rough waves, and flooding can lead to massive losses, just imagine what can happen to the oil rig’s heavy equipment if they fly or swing around because of the wind.
What are the biggest Oil Rig Accidents?
There are some tragic stories with very devastating consequences because of the oil rigs accidents and below are some of them:
- Bohi 2 (November 1979)
The oil rig flipped over and crashed due to bad weather between China and Korean coasts, this disturbing event led to the death of 72 of 76 men.
- The Alexander L. Kielland Disaster (March 1980)
It’s called the deadliest oil rig accident in the 20’s century. Unfortunately, 123 men out of 212 workers were killed because of a fatigue crack caused by a bad weld job 6mm wide. This disaster raised the awareness to put new safety requirements.
- The North Sea disaster, also known as Piper Alpha (July 1988)
It all began with a miscommunication between shift changes which caused a gas leakage that immediately led to a huge explosion. This tragic event took 167 lives, a lot of case studies were built based on this dreadful accident because not only did it take weeks to control the fire but also the total insured was $1.4 billion, and $200 was spent compensating the families of the victims.
- Mumbai High North (July 2005)
Due to a fire break out started when a chief on the support vessel accidentally cut his fingertips, then strong waves in the water pushed the supply ship onto the platform and the resulting collision started the fire at the same time, the outbreak of the fire killed 22 men and caused huge damage in the oil rig.
- Deepwater Horizon Disaster (April 2010)
Compared to other oil rig disasters mentioned above, this accident is considered the lowest with only 11 deaths. Yet, it caused the biggest oil spill in US history which lasted for more than 3 months with 4 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Not to mention that it cost almost $65 billion to compensate the families and fix all the damages.
How to prevent oil rig disasters?
To protect the lives of the oil rig workers, the companies need to take serious steps to maintain equipment, educate workers about their jobs, and make sure that all the safety productions are applied at the sites.
- Regular equipment checkup: The equipment needs to match the industry standards for example DNV, ABS, and API. This can be maintained with beXel’s NDT Inspection Software.
- Keep the work deck dry: The workplace should be cleaned to prevent any slip and fall injuries.
- Train all employees: The workers must be educated about all the problems that can happen on the oil rig, and how they should prepare themselves in the case of an emergency.
- Enforce safety rules: All safety regulations should be applied to avoid any risks.
- Provide the necessary safety equipment: Providing safety equipment such as life jackets can help in saving lives.
If we need to understand something about the worst oil rig disasters, it should be that we should take the safety of both workers and equipment seriously. As a company owner, you shouldn’t have to wait until a crisis happens, you need to think and prevent it from happening.
Stay tuned for more beXel articles about oil rigs soon!