Workers on offshore oil rigs, platforms, jack-up rigs and the vessels that service these workplaces, are often at risk for serious injuries. Some of these injuries are the result of the hazardous nature of their work, but many more are caused by negligence. The same is true for maritime workers on inland waterways, whether members of the crew of a push boat or tub, or a crane barge in a midstream transfer operation.
The Lambert Firm is a Louisiana maritime injury law firm that helps workers injured in the entire Gulf Coast region, for both offshore injuries and all other types of maritime injuries. There are many types offshore accidents and maritime incidents we have seen that can cause workers serious harm. These include:
Equipment Failure and Malfunction
Many offshore injuries and maritime accidents are the result of faulty or insufficient equipment. When equipment isn’t properly maintained or isn’t appropriate for the job at hand, it can lead to serious injuries to the workers operating the equipment and those working around it. Mechanical failures can also be attributed to design and manufacturing defects. It is the responsibility of your employer to provide safe and appropriate equipment that is in proper working order. When you are injured because your employer failed to do so, they are liable for your injuries.
Fire and Explosion
Workers on offshore rigs, platforms, and vessels and on inland tugs and barges are continuously surrounded by combustible materials. Fires and/or explosions can occur when ventilation systems fail, when fuel is not properly stored, when vessels collide or strike underwater obstacles, and under many other circumstances. The injuries that result from these incidents can be catastrophic, and often fatal. The mechanism of how these incidents occurred and who is to blame requires extensive knowledge of maritime law and the maritime industry, but also often requires a strong technical background in science and engineering to appropriately investigate the cause.
Being struck by a falling or flying object is one of the most common injuries in the maritime world, especially on oil rigs, drill ships, crane barges and any multi-level vessel, most of which are by necessity. Heavy machinery and support structures that break loose or aren’t secured correctly have the potential to injure anyone on deck.
Slip and Fall
Ship decks and oil rigs are treacherous places to work, especially in bad weather. Wet surfaces often cause workers to slip and fall, suffering serious injury. Other accidents that are common include falls due to corroded walkways, loose welds on stairways, and falls from ladders or ledges without handrails.
Exposure injuries offshore can occur due to contact with hazardous materials. Being exposed to these chemicals by inhalation or direct contact can cause serious, long-term damage to workers. Safety measures and protective gear should be provided, but this isn’t always the case. Even when the right gear is provided, equipment malfunction and the negligence of other workers can put you at risk for injuries.
Injuries due to exposure can also be related to the severe weather conditions offshore employees endure. Workers often labor for long hours in high temperatures, which can lead to dehydration and heat stroke. In the winter, offshore work can be just as hazardous, particularly if a worker falls overboard into water with extremely low temperatures.
Poor Safety and Training
Workers are often injured offshore when employers fail to provide adequate training and the right safety equipment. If you’ve been injured while working with equipment that you were not fully trained on or because safety measures were not enforced, this can constitute negligence on the part of your employer.
Have You Been Injured Offshore Or On An Inland Vessel? Get Help Today
The New Orleans maritime lawyers at The Lambert Firm have more than 40 years of experience in aggressively pursuing maritime workers’ rights. If you were injured in a maritime incident, it’s important that you contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Our personal injury attorneys represent clients on a contingency basis, meaning that our services are free unless and until we win compensation for you. During your consultation, we will perform a complete case review and determine the best course of action to obtain the compensation you are entitled to.