Oil Rig Accidents – Traumatic Brain Injury
Working on an oil rig is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. The work is demanding, and the environment is often treacherous. Accidents on oil rigs are not uncommon and when they do occur they can result in serious injuries. One of the most serious types of injuries is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This may occur in a number of different accidents when a person’s head is hit extremely hard. A TBI injury can range in severity and may be disabling.
Types of Head Injuries
There are various types of head injuries that might happen depending on the circumstances of the accident.
- Open Head Injuries
These occur when the skull is fractured or broken. These types of wounds happen either from an extremely hard hit or when something penetrates the skull.
- Closed Head Injuries
Closed head injuries can be more difficult to evaluate because the damage is on the inside. A sharp hit to the head or a fall could cause bleeding or swelling in the brain. The pressure inside the skull can cause brain damage if it is not immediately resolved.
A concussion is an injury that occurs to the brain when it is suddenly shaken or shifted inside the skull. The result may be a very serious traumatic injury. Those who have had multiple concussions could be more susceptible to severe damage from a concussion.
- Head Wounds
Head wounds happen when something sharply hits it, causing the skin to break. Wounds may range from minor graze wounds to deeper and more serious harm. These injuries could indicate a more serious injury and should be immediately evaluated.
Diagnosis and Treatment of TBI
Traumatic brain injury may happen as a result of any type of trauma to the head. Most importantly, the victim should be immediately evaluated to determine the extent of the injury. If there is bleeding on the brain the patient’s condition will worsen if they are not quickly treated. In severe cases, surgery is necessary to relieve swelling and to try to prevent further damage from occurring.
Traumatic brain injuries should be treated as medical emergencies. When they occur on a ship or oil rig, medical treatment needs to be provided as quickly as possible. In instances of severe injuries, the patient must be evacuated to a trauma center on land. This can take time, which may complicate the injury.
Companies are required to provide a safe workplace. If they fail to do so and an accident happens, they could be negligent. In addition to making sure the oil rig is safe, they must also make sure that employees are taught how to handle an emergency situation. Workers should work in teams so that they remain safe.
When a worker suffers severe trauma, an emergency plan must be in place to get the victim the medical care necessary. If the injury is worsened because of negligent actions on the part of the company, they could be held responsible. The Jones Act provides protections for maritime workers including those who are employed on oil rigs.