Offshore InjuryBlog

Blogs Posted in 2022

Marine terminals can be very dangerous places for workers. The presence of heavy machinery and equipment, barges and other vessels, mooring lines , and heavy containers all place workers at risk of suffering catastrophic injuries. Falls are one of the most prevalent. Longshoremen at marine terminals may sustain life-altering or fatal injuries in falls from heights or into the water . In many ...
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Offshore Shift Work & The Dangers of Fatigue

There's no denying the importance of maritime workers in the global economy. Ships and other vessels transport over 90% of the world's goods, providing jobs for maritime workers in the U.S. and abroad. Of these industries, offshore oil exploration and extraction is among the most important. Teams work around the clock in shifts to make sure the demands for American oil are met. Shift work is ...
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Seaman Injury, Offshore Safety
2022 has been a year of firsts for autonomous cargo ships. In February, the Yara Birkeland , a fully electric and autonomous cargo ship, successfully completed its maiden voyage in Norway. In May, an autonomous freighter named the Suzaku traveled 491 miles around Tokyo Bay without human intervention, performing more than 100 collision avoidance maneuvers. In June, the Prism Courage became the ...
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Offshore platforms play a critical role in meeting global oil demands. Most of these platforms are located in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by the Persian Gulf. There are different types of platforms for varying purposes, including jack-up rigs , fixed platforms, semi-submersibles, and more. Some are meant for shallow waters closer to shore while others can operate in extremely deep waters in the ...
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The Biden Administration has proposed leasing more than 500,000 acres in the Gulf of Mexico to build an offshore wind farm about 24 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. Once completed, the project would span an area greater than the size of Houston and produce enough electricity to power 2.3 million homes. This focus on offshore wind aligns with President Biden’s 2021 commitment to ...
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COVID-19 has impacted every American’s life in some way. In March of 2020, when stay-at-home orders were issued, schools were closed, and non-essential businesses were forced to cease in-person operations, every person felt the impact in a different way. The same was true for offshore workers. Certain oil and gas workers involved in drilling and production operations were considered “essential ...
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When Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana coast at the end of August 2021, it wasn’t just the people on land who were in trouble. The crews of offshore rigs and other maritime vessels in the storm’s path were also in danger, but not all were evacuated in time. Perhaps the biggest “near miss” of the 2021 hurricane season involved the Globetrotter II , a Noble -owned and Shell Oil -leased drillship ...
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Working offshore can be dangerous. Crew members can experience life-changing or fatal injuries in accidents on deck, after falling overboard , or in devastating blowouts , fires , or explosions . When these incidents occur, some workers quickly find that the companies they have put their lives on the line for are not interested in helping them recover. Instead, these workers experience pressure to ...
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Offshore drilling operations cannot continue forever. Wells can only produce for so long before their costs outweigh their productivity. At times, wells must be temporarily shut-in for reasons related to severe weather or problems related to supply and demand (such as occurred during the COVID-19 crisis). Eventually, every well will need to be permanently shut down. Shutting down oil wells is no ...
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Offshore wind is a clean, renewable, and abundant energy resource; countries across the planet are working to harness it. In the United States, President Biden signed an executive order to “reeestablish the Federal Government as a leader in sustainability…” which included a commitment to generate at least 30 gigawatts of power from offshore wind installations by 2030. This is certainly a step in ...
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Offshore Safety, Oil Spill, Oil Rig
More than 55,000 offshore oil wells are scattered among 2,287 active oil and gas leases across the ocean floor of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which includes 10.9 million acres between state waters to 200 nautical miles from U.S. shores. An astonishing 58% of these wells are orphaned or abandoned . With more than 32,000 abandoned wells littering the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, Atlantic, ...
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Offshore Platform Hurricane Preparedness

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins next week, but a low-pressure system that formed in the Gulf of Mexico on May 22 had officials monitoring the area for a potential tropical storm. While this particular area of low pressure is not expected to develop into anything more serious than some heavy rain across the southeastern United States, it serves as a reminder that hurricanes and ...
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A fall overboard is one of the most serious types of offshore accidents. It places the crew member at immediate risk of drowning or hypothermia , depending on sea conditions. Because of the significant risks posed by man overboard incidents, maritime employers are required to have measures in place to handle these emergencies. They must also take steps to prevent falls in the first place, sound ...
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Jones Act, Maritime Law
When a maritime worker is injured because of the negligence of the owner or operator of the vessel or another seaman, they have the right to seek compensation under the Jones Act . There are specific qualifications to be eligible under the Jones Act, however, including classification as a “ seaman .” A seaman is a person who is employed by the vessel owner or operator and spends at least 30% of ...
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Working at sea, even when close to shore, can present serious risks. One ever-present hazard is the water itself. If a crewmember falls overboard or a vessel capsizes or sinks, survival will depend on more than one’s ability to swim or tread water. Even an experienced swimmer can quickly lose muscle control in cool water, affecting their ability to stay afloat or pull themselves back on board. ...
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Did you know that commercial fishing has a fatality rate that’s 29 times higher than the national average? This makes it one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. According to the Alaska Western States Division office of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the top three dangers to commercial fishermen are: Vessel Disasters Vessel disasters are the leading ...
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On December 8, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order calling on the Federal Government “to lead by example in order to achieve a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.” One of the key parts of this will be harnessing the power of offshore wind. Biden’s plan calls for the United States to generate 30 gigawatts of ...
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Working offshore has its risks, and one of the most common is presented by the equipment that must be used to lift and transfer cargo and personnel . Derricks , cranes , and other deck lifting equipment can pose serious hazards if it is improperly operated, poorly maintained, or defective in any way. In this blog, we will talk about these maritime accidents and what can be done to prevent them. ...
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Deck winches serve various purposes on a maritime vessel. They can be used for anchoring, towing, mooring, pulling, and lifting or lowering heavy objects like nets. Installed on the deck of a ship, an electric or hydraulic winch can do a considerable amount of work in a short amount of time. Winches must be properly operated and maintained, however, or serious accidents can occur. Seamen and rig ...
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When Is a Vessel Unseaworthy?

One of the cornerstones of maritime law involves determining the seaworthiness of a vessel. Seaworthiness describes a vessel’s condition and whether it is in the proper condition to safely operate on open water. When a vessel is unseaworthy, it can place the safety of everyone on board at risk and can cause serious injuries or death . Maritime employers are required to maintain seaworthy vessels. ...
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After the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in April 2010, killing 11 workers and spilling 4 million barrels of oil into the ocean, the entire world saw the terrible consequences of the offshore oil and gas industry’s questionable safety culture. That December, the United States filed a complaint in District Court against BP and other defendants for their role in the explosion and resulting ...
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