The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report in May of 2013 that announced a shocking detail regarding industrial accidents. The leading cause for industrial accidents for oil and gas workers is not explosions, machinery accidents, or falls. Instead, the main danger in these incidents is helicopter accidents.
While oil rig explosions and machinery accidents receive large amounts of media attention, these incidents are not as common as the helicopter accidents that occur when transporting workers to and from the rigs in the middle of the ocean. Helicopter accidents accounted for 49 of 128 fatalities in the years 2003 to 2010. This means that they made up 75% of all transportation related deaths for oil and gas workers. Within this span of time, there were 17 helicopter accidents in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 of the helicopter accidents resulted in at least 1 worker death. 9 of the victims of these crashes survived the actual helicopter accident but later drowned.
The average American worker fatality rate is 3.8 deaths per 100,000 workers. In the oil and gas industry, the rate is 27.1 deaths per 100,000 workers. The majority of these fatalities are because of helicopter accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Study noted that helicopter accidents are the leading cause of energy industry worker deaths, making up 51% of all deaths. Helicopters are commonly called in to transport people and move materials to and from the mainland. The CDC says that the number of active offshore drilling rigs decreased by 63% between 2003 and 2010, but the number of annual fatalities in the industry has remained stable. To reduce fatalities, employers need to ensure that all transportation safety guidelines are closely followed.
There are many reasons that helicopter accidents occur. One of the most common issues in helicopter accidents is weather. Stormy conditions can make it difficult for a pilot to navigate a chopper to the oil rig, and this may lead to a crash. In other situations, a mechanical failure is to blame. Helicopters need to be carefully inspected before takeoff to ensure that there are no mechanical hiccups that could lead to a fatal crash. Pilots can be to blame for a helicopter accident if they are not alert or cautious in the air.
If you have been injured in a helicopter accident, or if you lost a loved one in a helicopter accident, then you need to seek compensation. Talk to a lawyer today for more information about pursuing a case after a helicopter accident. You can also discuss your case with an Arnold & Itkin LLP attorney to learn whether you should seek workers' compensation or a personal injury settlement. Call today to learn more about how we can help you!
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