In a work-related accident that could have easily been deadly, no workers were seriously injured Sunday when a drilling rig collapsed on itself at a drilling site in Wheeler County, Texas. Workers said that the drilling rig had just finished digging the hole and was laying down pipe when the collapse occurred.
One worker suspected that too much weight was responsible for the accident, as the drill was attempting to life pipe from a "tight hole." The worker said that accidents like this are typically the result of a "driller error" of behalf of rig operators. However, he said that a problem like a "stress crack" on the derrick could also have been responsible.
It is likely that an investigation will take place to determine the exact cause of the rig collapse. One worker at the site reported a shoulder injury stemming from the accident. Because the injury occurred on the job, it is likely that the worker could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits to cover medical bills and lost wages stemming from the injury.
With workers' compensation benefits, it does not matter what the cause of the accident was or who was to blame. However, workers in Texas who pursue workers' compensation claims forfeit their right to sue their employer for negligence relating to the accident. On the other hand, it is still possible for these workers to pursue negligence claims against third parties.
When it comes to workers' compensation benefits, it's important to report the incident to a supervisor right away and fill out the proper forms, depending on what state you live in. Additionally, be aware that there is only a certain window in which benefits claims can be filed following the incident.
Source: Upstream Online, "Pistol Drilling rig collapses in Texas," Luke Johnson, April 5, 2012
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