Oil and gas production is Louisiana’s largest industry. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the top oil producing regions in the world. There are over 4,000 oil platforms in the Gulf and about 25% of these are manned. Oil industry jobs are among the highest paying in Louisiana, but working on an offshore oil rig is a high risk job and many oil rig workers sustain serious injuries.
Oil rig workers perform hard physical labor. They work long shifts, usually 12 hours on and 12 hours off, in all sorts of weather. Dangers include equipment failure, falling objects, fire, poor training, hurricanes, explosions and exposure to chemicals. Hydrogen Sulfide is a toxic gas that is found around drilling rigs; a worker who is exposed to hydrogen sulfide can lose consciousness in seconds.
Offshore oil industry workers may suffer burns, head injuries, broken bones, eye injuries, back and neck injuries, paralysis, internal injuries and death. Many injuries are seriously debilitating and will prevent the worker from returning to work in the industry.
Because of these risks, it is of the utmost importance that precautions are taken to keep oil platforms and oil rigs accident free. Worksites should be kept clean and free from hazards. Regular maintenance should be performed on all equipment. There should be enough safety equipment available. And, workers should receive proper training in safety techniques.
Injured offshore oil workers are protected by maritime law. They are covered by the Jones Act, a federal act that allows injured seamen to claim compensation for their injuries and other damages from their employer. The law also permits lawsuits to be filed when injuries are caused by negligence. Injured seamen may sue their employers directly.
Injured seamen are also eligible for maintenance and cure. Maintenance provides for living expenses (those that are covered while the employee is working offshore) while the injured seaman is recovering. Cure is payment for the medical expenses that are reasonable for the treatment of the injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured while working on an offshore oil rig accident, contact an experienced maritime accident lawyer at The Young Firm. Our New Orleans lawyers can inform you about your rights to compensations for your injuries. Don’t sign anything until you’ve called us for a free consultation.
Learn more about the rights of injured maritime employees by sending for our free book, 6 Secrets Company May Not Tell You When You Get Injured Offshore.