Offshore InjuryBlog

Blog category: "Offshore Safety"

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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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Oil Rig, Offshore Safety, Oil Spill
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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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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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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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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Maritime workers have dangerous jobs. They work on vessels in the open sea, where access to emergency assistance is not always fast or guaranteed. One of the most prominent dangers they face, ironically, involves drilling for emergencies. Lifeboat drills in particular are notoriously hazardous for the workers who perform them. Crew members have been catastrophically injured and lost their lives ...
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When the United States shut down in March of 2020, no one really knew how long closures would last or what impact they would have. Workers in every industry were affected, but offshore crews faced unique challenges due to the nature of their jobs and their work environments—where social distancing was nearly impossible. Oil and gas companies were forced to delay turnarounds and postpone new ...
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Mooring operations are some of the most important jobs offshore crew members perform. They are also one of the most difficult and dangerous. If proper safety protocols are not followed, workers are at risk of suffering severe injuries that can even be fatal . What Is a Mooring Operation? A mooring operation describes the task of attaching a vessel to a stationary object. Mooring operations can ...
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Do Fishermen Have to Wear Lifejackets?

Falling overboard is the second most common cause of death for fishermen. Between 2000 and 2014, 210 fishermen died after falling overboard. None of them were wearing lifejackets or any type of personal flotation device (PFD). Despite this fact, there are no requirements or regulations for fishermen to wear PFDs while working—making deadly accidents more likely in an industry that already has a ...
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What Is a Roustabout?

Roustabouts are maintenance workers who focus on making sure oil and gas rigs are running safely and as expected. They are essentially the “boots on the ground,” responsible for making sure oil wells are operating efficiently and constantly. As a result, a roustabout’s duties are often flexible and varied, ranging from sweeping the floors of the rig to handling dangerous chemicals. Some common ...
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What Is the Mariner’s 1-2-3 Rule?

One of the easiest ways to keep ships and their crewmembers safe from hurricanes and strong tropical storms is by making sure they don’t have to be in them at all. This is where the Mariner’s 1-2-3 rule comes in. The Mariner’s 1-2-3 rule helps vessel navigators avoid encountering a dangerous storm because of a weather forecast error. It’s also known as the Danger Zone Rule, and the “1-2-3" part of ...
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For centuries, injured seamen had one option after an injury at work: maintenance and cure . This maritime law requires no fault to be proven after an offshore accident for a worker to receive compensation. It only requires that a worker sustained their injuries on the vessel they're employed on or while performing the duties of their job. However, any payment an injured person receives for their ...
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Most offshore injury claims come from incidents that occur in the maritime field such as slip and falls , rigging accidents , or other common dangers . However, one of the most dangerous and constant challenges an offshore worker can face is cold exposure. If a maritime worker is exposed to frigid waters, they could suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, or other severe complications. Maritime ...
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Imagine the following scenario: Two ships with plenty of space are approaching each other. It’s a clear night, and they see each other fine—both with radar instruments and visually. Equipment for both ships is functioning fine, and multiple officers onboard are on watch (or just observing). Yet, despite all this, the captain of one of the vessels decides to make a turn that puts him in the direct ...
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Offshore attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP filed suit on behalf of an experienced construction manager hired to work on a platform off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. He was assigned the top bunk of a bed for sleeping, but the platform owner’s failed to provide adequate railing and safeguards with the bunk. The platform owner also ignored our client’s request for a lower bunk. Consequently, our ...
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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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In the past, we’ve discussed how commercial diving jobs such as underwater welding might be among some of the most dangerous in the offshore industry. However, it’s difficult to confirm this because the most recent data on commercial diving death rates covers 1997 to 1989. That data, released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that commercial divers had about five deaths each year. ...
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Is Working on a Dredge Dangerous?

Dredging vessels make the waterways of the United States navigable. As the offshore industry’s workhorses, they make the billions of dollars generated by it practical and possible. From shipping operations to oil and gas excavation, dredgers make important work possible and, on each vessel, there’s a crew of workers who make everything possible. Onshore, construction work is one of the most ...
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The sight of offshore workers wearing hard hats has become ubiquitous over the years. These important pieces of safety equipment help a work protect the most important part of their body from some of the most unexpected accidents. Hard hats provide protection from: Falls Blunt force trauma Electric shock Blowouts Falling objects For decades, the hardhat has been the simplest form of protection ...
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The Jones Act was made to protect offshore workers. It was passed in 1920 and is officially known as the Merchant Marine Act. This important law protects workers from preventable accidents by giving them the ability to hold responsible parties liable should one occur. Before the Jones Act, workers could only seek compensation for their immediate medical needs and their cost of living until maximum ...
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Four Parties that Cause Offshore Accidents

Working in the maritime industry has never been completely safe. For hundreds of years, men and women have braved the ocean to bring back the bounty and trade that it offers. Today, the offshore industry has evolved beyond what the earliest sailors could have ever imagined. Oil rigs dig deep into the ocean, ships brave harsh waters, and vessels can carry more cargo than ever before. Coming along ...
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