Chiksan Pipe Accidents
Chiksan pipes are used for pumping oil or gas at high pressures and are used for loading operations. The equipment can pump materials at up to 20,000 psi and is securely connected by hammer unions. Nut lugs are belted using a sledge hammer. Assemblies often consist of valves, crossovers, swivels, and tees. An intense demand and surfaces covered in grease and grime do present hazards despite the reliability of the equipment.
A safety alert was issued in 1997 for overhead equipment, following the fall of a chiksan pipe swivel from a rig. The part struck a Canadian worker in the head, who was protected by safety gear and received minor injuries. Attached to tubing suspended on the rig’s elevators, the chiksan (not secured with safety equipment) backed off its threads as workers were connecting the tubing joints. The swivel and hammer therefore separated. Following the incident, workers were required to ensure overhead circulating equipment are attached to a safety chain or cable to prevent it from falling.
Reasons for Chiksan Pipe Accidents
The pipes are generally safe. They are constructed of rigid metal and can tolerate high-speed flow of gases and liquids, at high pressures. Since toxic materials can also be transferred, an accident can have devastating consequences. A lack of maintenance can lead to problems with joints, fittings, and connections going unseen, and neglecting inspections is not a good idea. The pipe might be in perfect condition, but a bad fitting can cause the assembly to break apart and injure workers.
Defective safety valves and a failure of emergency release systems can lead to accidents as well. In order to prevent incidents, operators should be adequately trained, and there should be a safety plan in place. In addition, the equipment should be used exactly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations in terms of procedure and capacity.
Common Types of Injuries
Accidents involving chiksan pipes have been known to result in traumatic brain, spinal cord, and back and neck injuries. Bone fractures, burns, crush injuries, and amputations have occurred as well. It’s also not impossible for toxic chemicals to be inhaled if they are released when a pipe breaks.
Making an Accident Claim
A claim involving a chiksan pipe accident must follow the procedures of the Jones Act, or a similar law, the Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. Under maritime law, vessel owners are responsible for all the crew’s actions, including those of contractors in many cases. Complicating matters many such accidents have multiple causes. The negligence of a crew member may be to blame, which would pin liability on the owner, but defective parts can be concurrent causes. Parts failures can mean a claim against a manufacturer can be made. Sometimes it’s necessary to determine if the failure was the result of a defect or lack of maintenance. In these cases, multiple companies or individuals may be liable, which can make obtaining compensation for one’s injuries and losses a complex process.