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Legal Blog

Risks Offshore Workers Face Daily

Offshore oil and gas accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries to workers. When workers are injured or an accident does occur, they are often hundreds of miles offshore meaning that precious time is lost while waiting for help to arrive. If you’ve been injured in an offshore accident, contact the Houston offshore injury lawyers with The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 to discuss your options.

A substantial amount of oil and gas exploration and drilling activities now occur in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which means offshore workers face a number of risks on a daily basis. Not only do they have to deal with the hazards inherent in working on oil rigs and fixed platforms, the passage to and from their job can be perilous.


According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), employees in offshore oil and gas operations are seven times more likely to be killed on the job than the average worker in the United States. This figure is derived from the CDC’s study tracking the number of fatal accidents involving offshore workers in the oil and gas extraction industry from 2003 to 2010.

In total, 128 offshore works were killed during that time period and all but one of the fatalities occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the boom in jobs in the oil and gas industry has come with more workplace fatalities. In fact, there were a record number of fatalities among workers in the oil and gas industry in 2012 with 138 deaths.

Common Types of Hazards

A volatile working environment, fatigue, exposure to extreme weather conditions, and interacting with heavy and complex machinery can lead to catastrophic accidents for workers. Here are some of the most common types of offshore accidents:

  • Falls
  • Fire and explosions
  • Transportation accidents (e.g. helicopter crashes going to and from oil rigs)
  • Being struck or crushed by objects or equipment
  • Exposure to harmful substances/environments
  • Drowning

New Safety Rules Take Aim at Offshore Drilling Operations

In response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, the federal government enacted new safety regulations for offshore oil and gas drilling operations in 2016. The regulations aim to strengthen safety requirements on underwater drilling equipment and well control operations.

The new rules specifically target controls on blowout preventers, which are the last line of protection against explosions. There will also be stricter inspection requirements and regular maintenance assessments on such equipment. The hope is that these regulations will help prevent the type of blowout preventer malfunction that contributed to the BP oil rig explosion that killed 11 offshore workers on April 20, 2010.

How a Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while working offshore, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can answer any questions you may have and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Our Houston maritime accidents lawyers and have decades of experience handling a wide variety of offshore injury cases including:

  • Oil rig injuries
  • Gas drilling injuries
  • Fixed platform injuries
  • Diving injuries
  • Pipeline transportation injuries
  • Mobile steel barge injuries

We understand the hazards offshore workers must deal with every day and we will work tirelessly to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and other losses.

Call a Houston offshore injury lawyer today at (281) 283-8500 for a free initial consultation.