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Oil Rig Job Types and Risk Factors

Posted in High Seas, High Risk: Offshore Injury on August 18, 2015

Oil rig jobs are notoriously dangerous and deadly yet its still a popular career choice in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and across the country. Still, work on an oil rig is diverse, and each type of job comes with its own salary, duties, and risks. Some opportunities include:

  • Roustabouts. Roustabouts are responsible for both skilled and unskilled labor. They are the jack-of-all-trades on the rig and perform duties like maintenance, pump and generator handling, and welding. The median salary is roughly $41,970, and the job requires a minimum of a high school education. Because the duties are so diverse, injuries can occur for a number of reasons.
  • Toolpushers. The toolpusher, also known as the rig manager, supervises the rig and its personnel. He or she manages client and company goals and is responsible for productivity and safety. Toolpushers start out as roustabouts and acquire years of on-the-job training. Many toolpushers have several certifications and are considered part of the larger category of rotary drill operators. The average salary is more than $56,000. Toolpushers are at risk for burns, falls, and being caught in machinery.
  • Mud Logger. Mud loggers collect and examine samples during drilling procedures. The mud loggers work in an on-site office analyzing samples of rock and mud for signs of oil. Mudloggers are required to have a degree in geology or engineering. The median salary is $52,700. Risk of injury is slightly lower for mud loggers, but they can still become entangled in equipment or crushed by machinery on the job.
  • Completion Engineer. The completion engineer improves methods for excavating oil and gas from the well. They usually have 15 or more years of experience in the oil industry. Completion engineers work with geologists and drill technicians to design efficient systems for drilling oil. Usually, completion engineers have a master’s degree, and the median salary is more than $120,000. Because completion engineers work hands-on with drilling equipment and heavy machinery, they run a high risk of crushing accidents, burns, and being struck.

Types of Oil rig Injuries

A five-year study from 2009-2013 found that the following injuries are the most common in the oil and gas industry:

  • Being struck by falling tools or equipment has the highest incidence rate, accounting for 38% of all accident claims. Being struck by equipment can lead to brain and head injuries and, occasionally, loss of limbs.
  • Being caught in machinery and equipment, which can result in crushing injuries and amputations, accounts for 14% of all accident claims.
  • Falls, from heights or on the same level, account for a collective 24% of accident claims. Falls can result in brain, head and spinal cord injury, and even death.
  • Motor vehicle incidents (MVIs) account for 5% of accident claims. MVIs can lead to any number of injuries, including crushing injuries, spinal cord damage, and burns.
  • Other injuries, like burns, represent 19% of oil industry accident claims. Oil rig fires can get out of control quickly and lead to severe burns, smoke inhalation, and death.

National Maritime and Offshore Injury Attorneys

Oil rig workers are protected under federal maritime laws in the event of injury. You are allowed to file a negligence claim against your employer if you are injured on the job. Oil rig injuries are often severe and can amount to overwhelming medical expenses. Maritime and offshore injury attorneys Lapeze & Johns PLLC can help you recover compensation. Based in Texas, we have 30 years of experience serving clients on the Gulf Coast and other offshore areas of the United States. Contact us today if you have been injured in an oil rig accident.