Houston based, Marathon Oil, recently shutdown its Brae Alpha platform in the North Sea after alarms signaled a natural gas leak. Though the investigation is ongoing, initial news reports have pointed to a ruptured gas line as the cause of the leak. The platform appears to have sustained damage following a blast in the production train module due to the leak. However, no fires or injuries were reported in the incident and the crew members were allowed to remain on the platform. The platform, which is located a little over 150 miles northeast of Aberdeen in the UK, remains out of operation as the company has stated that it is not safe to continue work until their investigation is complete.
The Brae Alpha began production in July 1983 and is one of three offshore platforms in the Brae complex with the other two being the Brae Bravo and the East Brae. This incident comes after the UK Health and Safety Executive issued the company an improvement notice for a gas leak that occurred on the same platform in June of last year. The leak involved faulty gas lift risers, which the improvement notice indicated were putting the health and safety of workers at risk. According to the improvement notice, Marathon Oil has until April 2016 to make repairs in order to be in compliance.
The Dangers for Offshore Platform Workers
Offshore drilling and extraction for oil and natural gas is an inherently dangerous endeavor and those who work on offshore platforms are exposed to potentially hazardous working conditions. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of fatality for onshore and offshore workers is seven times higher than for all U.S. workers. During a period from 2003 to 2010, 128 fatalities occurred among offshore workers who were involved in oil and gas operations. Among the 128 fatalities, 11 occurred in the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, and all but 1 of the total number of deaths during this time period took place in the Gulf of Mexico. The study found that the four leading causes of work-related fatalities were transportation accidents, contact with objects or equipment, fires and explosions and exposure to harmful substances/environments.
The most recent data from the Department of Labor indicates that the number of non-fatal workplace injuries in the oil and gas industry was 2,400 in 2003, 4,700 in 2005 and 4,200 in 2007. Those studies found that the severity of injuries in the field of oil and gas is greater than other industries. Oil and gas workers, on average, missed more work due to their injuries, which are commonly caused by being struck by an object or being crushed by equipment. Other common workplace injuries for offshore workers in particular are burns and chemical exposure.
Consult an Experienced Houston Offshore Accident Lawyer
Laws that apply to maritime accidents and injuries sustained offshore offer very different remedies than laws applying to non-maritime injuries. Due to the complexity of maritime laws and how they may intersect in your case, it’s important when you’ve suffered an offshore injury to talk to an experienced Houston maritime accident lawyer immediately.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a maritime accident, contact the experienced maritime accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. for help. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. has over 27 years of experience fighting for people injured in a broad variety of maritime accidents and we will work to build the strongest possible case for you. Our history of success includes winning one of the largest maritime accident recoveries in Texas history and we will work hard to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Schedule a free individual consultation with a knowledgeable Houston offshore accident lawyer today by calling The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500.