Offshore InjuryBlog

Oil & Gas Association Urges Need to Reduce Helicopter Accidents

During the course of a two day summit in Vancouver, Canada, a spokesperson for the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) spoke about the urgent need to reduce the number of helicopter accidents in the oil and gas industry. Helicopters are the primary means of transportation for getting workers on and off of offshore oil rigs. However, given the number of accidents and fatalities, the spokesperson warned that something needed to be done to improve aviation safety in the industry. The oil and gas industry has aviation accidents at a far higher rate than commercial airlines.

Aviation Accident Statistics

Below are some statistics about aviation crashes in the oil and gas industry. These figures are from the 16 year period between 1998 to 2014.

  • 406 helicopter accidents resulting in 502 fatalities
  • 71 fixed wing accidents resulting in 171 fatalities
  • Aviation accidents account for an average of 40 fatalities a year
  • Helicopter accidents have a rate of 7.4 fatalities per million flying hours
  • Commercial airlines have a rate of just 0.9 fatalities per million flying hours

Promoting Aviation Safety in the O&G Industry

The spokesman noted that nearly half of the helicopter fleet that transports oil and gas workers is owned by one of the 83 companies that make up the IOGP. The IOGP has a goal of reaching safety levels comparable to the commercial airline industry. While the IOGP has made strides in improving aviation safety, its main challenge is that it cannot force safety improvements because it has no regulatory powers.

Improving aviation safety for offshore workers should be of particular importance considering that – unlike commercial airline travelers – offshore workers are not given a choice over which helicopter company to travel with. They must board the aircraft provided for them regardless of the safety record of the operator.

Injured in an Offshore Aviation Accident?

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an offshore aviation accident, you need to consult with an attorney about your legal rights. Offshore aviation accidents generally fall under maritime law, so it is important that you consult with an attorney knowledgeable about the Jones Act and aviation law. At Arnold & Itkin, our results speak for themselves. Contact our offshore accident attorneys today to learn how we can help you.

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