Types of Offshore Accidents

Oil platforms, sometimes referred to as oil rigs, are large structures that are designed to drill wells and extract oil and natural gas. These platforms also store the product for a time until it can be transported back to land. Due to the combustible nature of the products handled on this type of vessel, explosions are quite common. Over the years many explosions have occurred in many different areas; as a result many lives have been lost and many injuries have been sustained. From 2001 to 2010 the U.S. Minerals Management Service reported 69 offshore deaths and 1,349 injuries, many of which were caused by 858 reported fires and explosions on the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Due to the size of an oil platform, a fall from a higher point could cause serious injury if not death. The wind from a storm could easily throw an employee from a ladder or other high point on the vessel. Storms also bring rain, which means slippery surfaces aboard the vessel. Without the proper safety precautions, slip and fall accidents can easily occur. Car Accident Laws California Common injuries from a fall could be twisted or sprained joints and bruised or broken bones. Other more serious situations occur when a person is thrown off of the platform by the wind into the ocean. Not only can injuries occur due to the fall from a platform, but also there is the risk of drowning or brain damage due to lack of oxygen while in the water.
These accidents are not limited only to oil platforms – they are common among barges as well. A barge is a large flat-bottomed water vessel generally used in rivers and canals for transporting heavy bulk items. For example, in 2006 a 565-ton Catalytic Cracking unit reactor was sent from Oklahoma, 700 miles to Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina. Other cargo that is commonly transported on barges is petroleum. One accident involving a barge occurred in 2003 in which a barge carrying millions of gallons of gasoline exploded. This catastrophe ended up killing two workers and spilling over three million gallons of unleaded gasoline.
In addition to falls, fires and explosions, falling objects are not uncommon at an offshore worksite. If an employee sets a tool or part down and forgets to put it away, if cargo is not restrained properly, if safety equipment is All About Car Accidents old and does not function as well as it should, it can all contribute to a falling object accident. Injuries sustained in this type of accident can include severe head trauma, broken bones, bruising and even an offshore fatality.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an offshore accident you must contact a maritime attorney immediately. An injured offshore employee has the right to an attorney, and oftentimes offshore companies will try to assign an attorney, doctor and investigator that they choose. However, such assignments are rarely made in the best interests of the victim(s) and, as such, individuals who have been wrongfully harmed in this type of accident are better served under the legal representation of an associate of their choosing.

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