OIL PLATFORM INJURIES
INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO.
The offshore oil and gas industry is not only an essential part of the nation’s economy, it also provides thousands of jobs to workers in Louisiana. However, offshore oil extraction continues to be a dangerous field because of the combination of heavy equipment, long working hours, and constant exposure to hazardous conditions. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offshore oil and gas workers are seven times more likely to die on the job than the average worker in the United States. It is up to oil rig companies to protect their workers and prevent foreseeable injuries. Failure to do so, resulting in oil platform or rig accidents, can cause serious injury and death.
Oil Rig Transportation Accidents
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, transportation accidents were the leading cause of fatalities among oil and gas industry employees. Offshore oil and gas workers depend on helicopters and boats to transport them safely to and from the rigs and platforms of the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, mechanical failure and poor weather conditions are the most common factors in rig transportation accidents.
Heavy Machinery Accidents
Oil rig and platform workers deal with heavy machinery every day. Workers run the risk of being struck by falling objects, crushed between equipment that is not properly secured or operated incorrectly by crew members because they have not been properly trained in the safe use of equipment.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents on an oil rig can happen at any time particularly when water or oil are left on the rig floor, ladders or scaffolds are not properly secured, or when work areas are not properly inspected for potential hazards. When employers or fellow workers do not follow safety procedures accidents often happen. Maintaining safe work environments include regular cleaning and inspection of floors, clearing of walkways to reduce hazards, use of non-skid surfaces when appropriate, and use of guardrails, handrails, or grating to prevent falls.
As one of only six states in America that permit coastal drilling, Louisiana boasts a thriving $70-billion-dollar oil and gas industry. The state is second in the country only to Texas in terms of the number of rigs it hosts in the oil field. Thousands of workers make up Louisiana’s oil and gas task force, mostly under the command of several of the most prominent oil rig companies. The following companies are the key players in the state’s oil industry:
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation
- Cubic Energy
- Diamond Offshore Drilling
- Magnum Hunter Resources
Despite federal laws in place to decrease the risk of serious oil rig accidents, hundreds of employees still end up in the hospital each year – many with irreparable injuries such as loss of limbs, permanent scars, and lifelong disabilities. Seaman and offshore workers can recover damages because of the Jones Act.
The Jones Act was implemented to protect U.S. ships from foreign competition but also included a provision to give rights to injured seamen. Title 46 of U.S. Code §30104 allows an injured seaman to bring a civil action against his employer if the seaman was acting in the course of employment as a vessel crew member, if the employer was found to be negligent, and if the employer’s negligence was the cause of the seaman’s injuries. This is significantly different from a typical worker’s injury case, where state workers’ compensation statutes generally prohibit employees from bringing lawsuits against employers for injuries caused by employer negligence.
The experienced, skilled team of oil rig injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have decades of experience handling all types of maritime accidents under the Jones Act and other maritime laws governing injuries at sea. We are dedicated to providing exceptional legal and customer service and will fight for the maximum compensation possible in every client’s case. We have a successful track record of getting the maximum awards from mediations and juries in maritime cases.
46 U.S. Code CHAPTER 303—DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS
A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.
(Pub. L. 109–304, § 6(c), Oct. 6, 2006 120 Stat. 1510; Pub. L. 110–181, div. C, title XXXV, § 3521(a), Jan. 28, 2008 122 Stat. 596.)
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