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Legal Blog

Maritime Injuries During Drilling

Working offshore can be financially rewarding, but it comes with risks. Maritime accidents during drilling are routine, and maritime injuries during drilling are common. Fortunately, offshore rig workers could be entitled to compensation when they get injured on the job. Your ability to sue depends on the specific facts of your case. Due to the complicated nature of maritime law, it’s important to retain the help of an attorney with experience in the area.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Houston maritime accident lawyer, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500, or reach out through the online form to find out if your case might be eligible for legal action.

Common Drilling Platform Accidents

The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responsible for tracking incidents and recommending safety procedures for offshore exploration. According to BSEE data, 429 offshore accidents occurred during 2017. These injuries occurred in the following situations:

Crane Lifting

A leading cause of accidents, which accounted for 126 incidents in 2017, is the use of cranes on drilling platforms. Platforms use cranes to lift supplies, equipment, and personnel from ships hundreds of feet below. Any mishap can have serious consequences such as crush injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), lacerations, and lost limbs.

Fires and Explosions

Over 70 incidents occurred in 2017 when oil or flammable gases ignited. This is the most obvious risk when drilling for fuel. Any misstep can have fatal results. Despite the many precautions taken on drilling platforms, fires and explosions are a constant risk.

Evacuations

With 53 incidents happening in 2017, mishaps during evacuations and safety drills are a leading cause of platform accidents. Poorly planned evacuation procedures and faulty safety equipment are usually to blame.

Release of Gas

When gases release during drilling, it can cause injuries – even if the gas doesn’t ignite. Short-term exposure may cause nausea, dizziness, and breathing issues, and long-term exposure to these gases can cause severe medical conditions such as organ damage.

Collisions

Oil rigs rely on ships and helicopters for the movement of personnel and supplies. Owing to bad weather, fatigue, and negligence, these vehicles sometimes collide with the platform, causing extensive damage and injuries.

Loss of Well Control

Also known as “blowouts,” loss of well control accounted for no accidents in 2017, and only two accidents in 2016. But when a blowout does happen, the consequences are devastating. In 2011, for example, a blowout on the Deepwater Horizon caused 11 deaths, dozens of injuries, and an environmental catastrophe.

In addition to the dangers listed above, injuries on drilling platforms can happen for a host of other reasons, including slip and falls, electric shock and electrocution, and even food poisoning. No matter what causes your offshore drilling injury, you should consult with an experienced Houston maritime lawyer to determine what avenues for compensation may be available to you.

How a Houston Offshore Drilling Lawyer Can Help

Offshore drilling workers are protected by several laws and regulations at both the state and federal levels. Determining which laws apply to you depends on your job function, the circumstances of the incident, and where the incident took place. One frequently used federal law is the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) – which provides protections similar to those available to seamen under the Jones Act – applies to rigs located more than three nautical miles from the coastline.

Did You Incur Maritime Injuries During Drilling? Contact Us Today for Help

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have built our reputation on our ability to advocate for maritime professionals after an injury. When an accident puts you out of a job, and you’re facing the costs of medical treatment, you can count on us to help you and your family through this difficult time. If you’ve incurred injuries in an offshore drilling accident, contact us today at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.