Offshore InjuryBlog

Blog category: "Offshore Safety"

There’s a lot to worry about if you’re an offshore worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. As if falling oil prices weren’t enough stress for offshore oil rig workers, they now must face the COVID-19 pandemic on vessels where space is rare. Close quarters, long work hours, and being far from medical care are just a few of the challenges that make a virus outbreak on an offshore oil rig worrisome. ...
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In early February, the dangers of a COVID-19 outbreak onboard cruise ships were made abundantly clear when authorities quarantined Carnival’s Diamond Princess at a dock in Yokohama, Japan. All 3,711 people aboard the ship were stuck in Tokyo Bay for 27 days. By mid-March, 712 passengers had tested positive for coronavirus. By mid-April, fourteen of those on board had died from the virus. The ship ...
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10 years ago, the nation was shocked by the deadliest oil rig explosion and fire in its history. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, it claimed the lives of 11 workers, injured many others, and triggered one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history. It took two days for the Deepwater Horizon to sink and nearly three months to stop its well from leaking 210 ...
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The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime law that governs safety on merchant ships. The first version of the law was created in 1914. It was created in response to the Titanic disaster, the now infamous cruise liner sinking that claimed the lives of nearly 1,500 people. The creators of the treaty designed it to prevent the preventable loss of ...
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When passengers boarded the Costa Luminosa, they had no idea that they were placing their health and safety into the hands of a company that was unprepared for a viral outbreak at sea. Days before dozens of crew members and passengers on the Costa Luminosa became sick, the vessel’s owner, Carnival Cruises, was making headlines related to the coronavirus. Two Carnival cruise ships, the Diamond ...
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News, Offshore Safety
We all get tired at work. However, many workers are fortunate that their at-work fatigue doesn’t place the lives of their coworkers at risk. Thanks to grueling work and long shifts, many offshore workers understand how easy it is for them and their coworkers to get tired while on the job. They also know how dangerous their job can be if they aren’t alert and focused on it. Texas A&M Today reported ...
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According to a recent report from NOLA.com , offshore oil and gas accidents and deaths have spiked after the Trump administration rolled back regulations on the industry. Many were worried about the safety of offshore workers since the day the administration announced the rollbacks. Last year, we reported that safety advocate groups were concerned that that the administration was rolling back ...
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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 and can cause serious injuries or death. Knowing if a vessel was seaworthy during an accident can help an injured ...
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One of the most dangerous aspects of offshore work isn’t visible to the people at risk from exposure to it. Benzene is a colorless gas that’s a yellow liquid at room temperature. One of the simplest ways to determine the presence of benzene is through its smell. Benzene is characterized by a sweet odor. Generally, benzene levels are hazardous if enough of the gas is present to produce a detectable ...
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Offshore Safety, News
Since its creation in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enforced safety regulations in the American workplace. When it comes to offshore renewable energy facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf, OSHA will be taking the backseat, and the Department of the Interior will oversee worker safety. In October, the DOI revealed that it leased about 1.7 million acres of the Outer ...
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Common Sources of Shipyard Injuries

While maritime jobs such as offshore drilling have a reputation for being dangerous, many overlook the dangers associated with shipyard work. Shipyard workers weld, plumb, machine, use rigging, and work with a variety of chemicals. These facts make shipyard work one of the most dangerous professions in the maritime industry. Understanding the common shipyard dangers can help companies protect ...
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Offshore workers suffer from severe accidents at a disproportionate amount when compared to the rest of the American workforce. Those who work offshore face the risk of suffering from a fatal accident which is seven times higher than other industries in the United States. These accidents occur for several reasons. Two-thirds of all offshore worker deaths are in the oil and gas industry. First, ...
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Cruise ships have a reputation of being one of the safest ways to travel. These large luxury boats can carry thousands of people to global destinations. However, it’s difficult to know exactly how many accidents occur on cruise ships. The Department of Transportation only reports criminal activity on boats. Additionally, independent research has questioned the thoroughness of accident statistics ...
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A cargo ship tipped over off the coast of Georgia early Sunday morning, nearly capsizing. Crew members called for help at approximately 2 a.m. and responders arrived to find the large motor vehicle transporter Golden Rayon its side. The ship tipped over after listing heavily. It was departing from the Port of Brunswick after being loaded and unloaded by longshoremen. The vessel had 23 crew members ...
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Offshore Safety
Earlier this year, the current administration established plans to roll back safeguards created for the offshore industry after the Deepwater Horizon accident. The Deepwater Horizon accident is the most significant oil disaster in the history of United States offshore drilling operations. It claimed the lives of 11 workers, injured 17 more, and spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels into the ...
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How Transfers by Personnel Baskets Work

During offshore work, crews use many types of vessels, boats, rigs, and platforms. Since these machines and vessels are typically separate from each other, offshore workers need a way to transfer quickly between them. Transfers by personnel baskets are used to accomplish this task quickly. However, this method of transfer can be as dangerous as it is convenient, so it’s crucial that crews follow ...
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Offshore Working & Hypothermia Injuries

Many offshore workers and their employers are aware of the risks of hypothermia while working in below-freezing temperatures. However, many in the maritime industry do not realize that this dangerous condition can be induced in above-freezing temperatures too. Learning the signs of hypothermia will improve working conditions and potentially save a life. What Is Hypothermia? Hypothermia occurs when ...
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Since October of 2017, Arnold & Itkin has closely followed the events surrounding the investigation of a Bouchard Transportation Co.'s Barge No. 255, which exploded and erupted into a violent fire just off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas. Our barge explosion attorneys are representing the family of Zachariah Jackson, one of the two workers killed during the incident. Officials never located ...
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Maritime Law, News, Seaman Injury
In November of 2018, the Supreme Court heard arguments for a class action lawsuit involving asbestos-related injuries caused by bare-metal items. The lawsuit described “bare-metal” products as those that required asbestos to work but sold without asbestos. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Navy veterans who asserted that they developed cancer because of the asbestos they used on bare-metal ...
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Offshore Safety
When most people think of dangers that offshore workers experience, dramatic images of explosions are usually the first thing to come to mind. While explosions are a constant risk for offshore workers, they are also in contact with dangerous chemicals on a regular basis. If ignored, these chemicals can silently cause injury and death. Hydrogen Sulfide Besides being flammable, hydrogen sulfide is ...
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Offshore Safety, News
Earlier this month, 16 communities on the coast of South Carolina filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the Trump administration. The case was filed in response to permits that were issued to allow the exploration for natural gas an oil. On Thursday, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that nine states are joining the lawsuit. Why Are the States Against Offshore ...
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In August, the Bureau of Transportation Safety released its annual Blowout Prevention System Safety (BPSS) report . The report is a component of the SafeOCS program, a joint effort by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. SafeOCS enables workers to report information on the offshore industry. As a result, the program gathers, aggregates, ...
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Deepwater Horizon Regulations Rolled Back

Last Thursday, the White House eased safety rules for offshore drilling rigs created after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The administration claimed that loosening regulations will provide a boost in energy production. The initial regulations were originally put in place by the Obama administration in 2016. The reversal to the rules will be effective on December 27, 2018. The regulations ...
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At Arnold & Itkin, our offshore injury attorneys highlight the importance of eliminating negligence on the part of employers and ship owners in the maritime industry. Doing this provides a safe environment for the thousands of offshore workers and passengers that utilize seagoing vessels daily. Examining the following maritime accidents reveals the importance of accountability and reveals how ...
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How the Jones Act Affects the US Navy

Since 1920, the Merchant Marine Act has served to protect workers on vessels traveling between American ports. Also known as the Jones Act, it provides protections to Americans working on ships normally provided to US workers on land. As a whole, the law was designed to bolster American trade. Besides protecting offshore workers from employer negligence, this law introduced several restrictions on ...
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