Safety Concerns of Offshore Drillers

In the wake of recent rulings regarding the Black Elk Energy accident, oil companies are likely concerned about their own operations. The Black Elk Energy company was cited this week with 41 violations as a result of the explosion that killed 3 workers last year. The violations cite many problems, some of which may be partially responsible for the accident.

While this may seem like a harsh ruling, it is possible that the company will be able to resolve many of them – the company has 2 months to respond to the violations. In the meantime, other companies may be concerned about their own possible safety violations. Violations can carry large fines, although for most companies, these fines may be worth risking rather than having to conform to some expensive changes.

It is important to note that even if a company is charged with a violation, they have a certain length of time to correct the problem. Often, companies are allowed months to fix problems. Until then, workers are exposed the dangerous conditions, likely unaware of the situation they are putting themselves into. Workers who are injured are covered by maritime laws including the Jones Act. This allows workers to seek legal action in the case of an injury.

If you have been injured, it is important to speak to an experienced Galveston oil rig injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will review the circumstances of the accident to determine the best way to proceed. The Galveston oil rig injury attorney understands these types of accidents and knows how to establish negligence. An oil rig job is dangerous, but the company must take precautions to ensure safety. Talk to a Galveston oil rig injury attorney to learn more about seeking legal action after having sustained an injury while working offshore.

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Dangers of Offshore Workers

Offshore work can be dangerous and demanding. Those who physically fit are often the safest. Workers need to have an incredible mix of both physical and emotional strength and fortitude. Work is not only difficult, but also dangerous work conditions can add to the difficulty of performing the job. All too often, workers are at the mercy of their company to ensure that they are safe.

Companies must follow specific safety procedures. If they don’t they can be heavily fined. Of course, offshore operations are quite complex. Not only are there many different jobs that need to be performed, but there are also many different pieces of machinery that must be operated and maintained. Rough weather conditions can make the job more difficult.

With so much going on, it’s no wonder that offshore jobs are considered dangerous. It is important for offshore workers to know that they have rights and are protected if they are injured while working. If you have been injured it is important to talk to a Baytown personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The lawyer will review the facts of the accident and advise you as to the best way to proceed.

Companies are under legal obligation to keep working conditions safe for their employees. Even so, many of these offshore locations are operating under difficult circumstances and may not meet the standards that they should. When a worker is injured due to the negligence of the company, the worker is entitled to compensation.

Talk to a Baytown personal injury attorney to seek help in dealing with an injury. The injury may not only be painful, but it may also cause you to have expensive medical bills. Additionally, you may need to take time off work while you are recovering. A Baytown personal injury attorney will discuss your options with you and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Cause of Oil Rig Explosion Revealed

On November 16, 2012, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing three rig workers, leaving two missing, and critically injuring four.  About 28 gallons of oil were spilled into the water.  There were 28 workers on the oil rig at the time of the explosion.  The explosion occurred on a rig 100 miles south of New Orleans.

The rig was owned and operated by a Houston company called Black Elk Energy.  In August of 2013, a report was released finally pinpointing the cause of the explosion, which has been shown to be unsafe welding practices.

This incident shows the critical nature of each and every job aboard an oil rig.  Given the sensitive nature of the rig, unsafely performing any task can result in serious consequences, even death.

Have you been injured in an oil rig explosion, or any other offshore accident?  If so, the offshore injury attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP can help.  Whether you are a rig worker that has been injured, or you have lost a loved one to an explosion or other serious oil rig accident, our attorneys can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.  Contact us today.


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Recovering Compensation When Injured on an Oil Rig

Men and women that work as gas or oil workers and have been injured on a floating rig and jack-up rig are typically covered by maritime injury law, specifically the Jones Act. This also includes being injured when being transported by helicopter or boat to the rig. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 823 gas and oil extraction workers between 2003 in 2010 were killed on the job.[i]

Maritime lawyers handle a variety of cases for individuals seeking to recover compensation for disability, suffering, pain, and lost wages. This is often a result of negligence by the employer that was either a direct cause of any injury or something that contributed to it.

Offshore structures and drilling rigs create an exceedingly hostile work environment. The conditions that the gas and oil workers are expected to deal with place them in serious danger. In addition, the escalated levels of production activity along with individuals working together in a closed environment maximize both profits for the company and an increased likelihood of becoming seriously injured for the help.

The most common types of dangers on a drilling rig include:

  • Accidents involving slips and falls
  • Blocker cable breaks
  • Falling objects
  • Faulty grating
  • Negligence when operating equipment
  • Cathead slips

Based on the specifics of each offshore oil rig accident, the injured party is likely able to collect compensation through a competent maritime injury attorney in a court case involving personal injury law. In addition, those that have been injured when performing work on a fixed platform will likely be covered by other federal law including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Maritime injury law is complex, challenging to understand, and extremely complicated. Any individual that is suffered when working on a fixed rig or floating rig should seek out a competent attorney to handle their case.

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Maritime Injury Attorney

On shore and off shore, occupational accidentals can happen no matter the location or the planning and expertise of the crews involved.  Maritime accidents require special legal attention because they often occur in waters floating on the boundaries between the accident victim’s home country and international jurisdiction.  In the majority of accident causes, it is the job of the hired maritime accident attorney to “reel in” the scope of an individual accident case and process it through the district jurisdiction which is most likely involved.  Most districts will try to dismiss sea-borne lawsuits and injury claims, but a maritime accident attorney will fight for any fisherman, oil rigger, contractor and seaman who earns his living on the water.

In every maritime lawyer’s mind is the case of the 1988 accident on the Norwegian oil rig known as Piper Alpha.  All systems and personnel protocols were in standard working order until the unforeseen happened.  Many lives were lost and international maritime safety standards for workers, contractors and international trades people came under immediate review.  Families were shortchanged because of the litigation surrounding this tragedy, but this type of maritime justice never has to happen again.

The conference organized in Norwegian waters at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center will be a spectacular multi-industry representative focus on the safety steps which can be taken on off shore oil rigs, fishing boats and commodities transports.  This UK-based conference is bound to address some of the most important issues facing nations with high seas trade and shipping interests.  The Piper Alpha accident will be of particular note and focus for all envoys attending the conference.  New safety and personnel protocols will be introduced and proposed which will certainly highlight some of the most pressing and under addressed issues in international maritime law.

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Natural Gas Blowout

Injuries at sea are not uncommon, and there are many different ways in which these injuries can take place. Maritime law covers different scenarios and situations, all of which are important to highlight and understand what context it plays if such an event unfolds. While most maritime injuries involve boats and moving vessels, there are other issues that can arise on solid platforms and constructions, such as golf rigs. Such an event did just take place on the Gulf of Mexico when a natural gas blowout caused a serious fire and caused serious damage to the facility

Recent Natural Gas Blowout

The natural gas blowout occurred about 55 miles off of the shore of Louisiana and, although generally a manned location, nobody was actually on the big when the gas blowout occurred. What exactly caused the explosion is still not yet known, although local authorities were contacted and sent out in order to try and reduce the size of the blaze and get it under control, although due to the nature of the fire, with gas sitting on top of the water to burn, it did prove more challenging than a traditional fire on land.

Nobody Injured at Sea Currently

Nobody was injured during the explosion, although there are some risk of contaminated water and other issues arising inside around the show as the water with burned gasoline stats to make its way to shore. This situation is capable of harming hundreds, if not thousands of individuals who live along the cost, and if such an injury occurs, it is important to utilize a team of lawyers that has experience dealing with this kind of a situation or legal matter. While some lawyers are going to suggest they are able to handle any kind of injury, it is always best to go with someone who specializes in the kind of law. Maritime law covers any and all kinds of issues that took place at sea, and while someone might have become sick by being exposed to the contaminated water on the land, the situation took place on the water in the Gulf of Mexico and is classified as a maritime issue and constitutes injured at sea.

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