Working Risks from Oil Rigs

Working on an oil rig is a very dangerous job. Even if you follow all the safety rules and regulations, there is still room for error and accident while at work. Working long hours, with heavy machines, and uncontrollable weather, accidents are bound to happen. There are many ways in which accidents can happen, and as always, there is a first time for everything, so some accidents have no precedents. Regardless of the popularity of the type of accident, the gist is that accidents are more common than we think, and even if you think you are at fault, there is still legal action that can be taken.

The number one cause of oil rig accidents is negligence. That is that someone didn’t do their job, didn’t do it well, or skipped over necessary steps. Not using proper safety measures also falls under this category of negligence. Maintenance of oil rigs is also key to avoiding disaster, so when the cleaning, maintaining, and upkeep of the ship is neglected, accidents become much more likely.

Other than accidents that could have been avoided with more diligence and attention, the next leading cause of oil rig accidents is natural calamites. Oil rigs work out in the middle of the ocean, which is already by itself a dangerous situation to be in. Then when you throw typhoons, storms, hurricanes, and gales into the mix, it is a recipe for disaster. These forces of nature cannot be stopped or foreseen, so preparing for them is difficult, thus avoiding accidents during these times is rare to none.

So really, it comes down to negligence and nature when dealing with oil rig accidents. It is important to remember that regardless of who is at fault, in this case yourself or nature, there is still an opportunity to take legal action. According to Williams Kherkher, there are protections that exist specifically to assist those injured on oil rigs. The Jones Act or Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) all work together to protect oil rig workers.

Other reasons for oil rig accidents, mentioned by Williams Kherkher, are long shifts, equipment failure, and poor communication on the rig. Fatigue can often lead to negligence, along with poor communication. However, equipment failure is something that cannot be controlled. Regardless of the reason behind the accident, it is evident that accidents on oil rigs are common. Due to this high frequency of accidents, most oil rig companies have employees that are ready to handle injuries from the job. Throwing settlements and bonuses at their injured employees might appear like nice gestures, this is really just the company trying to avoid a lawsuit. With good lawyers representing you or a loved one after an oil rig accident, you could be entitled to much more than the settlement is offering. It is important to get what you deserve because no one should be subjected to danger on the job.


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