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Violation of Safety Regulations

The Importance of Adhering to Safety Regulations

Oil rig workers face a variety of hazardous conditions on a daily basis, which is evident in the amount of related accidents that have taken place in the last several years. There are more than 4,000 oil rig platforms in the Gulf of Mexico alone—25% of which are physically manned by workers—so there are a great number of people along the southern coast that are employed in this field. Because of the constant work that needs to be done to maintain these rigs, however, there is a very good chance that a worker may be faced with an injury at some point or another. One simple misstep could have catastrophic results, so it is crucial that the proper safety regulations are implemented and followed at all times.

Although human error cannot be blamed for the countless accidents that have taken place on offshore rigs, it can be attributed to an astounding number of the 1,400 accidents that took place between 2001 and 2007—not to mention the various others that have happened in more recent years. All offshore workers maintain rights under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which is more commonly referred to as the Jones Act. This is a "United States federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports," and allows for all offshore seaman to make claims and collect from their employers for the negligence of a supervising authority or a fellow worker.

This means that if an employer fails to adhere to the safety regulations that have been put into place and a worker is subsequently injured, they may be subjected to a civil lawsuit. Often times, an oil rig worker will be unable to return to their job in the wake of a serious injury, so they may have no other choice but to pursue an appropriate amount of compensation from the responsible party. Whether they were burned in an explosion or they were crushed by an unsecured object, a victim may be able to pursue damages that workers' compensation benefits won't provide. For this reason, if you have found yourself in a similar situation, you should not hesitate to explore your legal options with the help of an oil rig explosion lawyer.

Types of Oil Rig Safety Regulations

Because of the enormous risks that an oil rig worker faces on a day-to-day basis, it is important for everyone in the field to understand what safety regulations must be implemented and followed. Although most employees across the country are subjected to the regulations of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is a little different when working offshore. Seamen that are working on oil rigs must instead abide by the regulations that have been set out by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. These standards were developed to protect workers that are susceptible to a whole new set of hazards when working out on the water, including regulations like:

  • Maintenance must be done regularly on all equipment to ensure proper working condition
  • Workers must receive training on how to implement proper safety techniques
  • Oil rig owners must provide free medical care to all employees
  • Equipment should be stored in a secure area that does not pose a risk of falling
  • Weekly "musters," or emergency exercises, should be carried out to prepare workers for real life accidents
  • Workers must have access to the General Platform Alarm (GPA) and/or emergency contact numbers

Have you become the victim of a safety violation?

If you have been involved in a preventable accident while working on an offshore oil rig, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced lawyer about what rights you possess under the Jones Act and that you find out what protections you are afforded by maritime law. You may be able to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit, so you should not disregard the need to take action quickly. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we have been successful in helping countless victims, and their families, to recover the amount of damages that they truly deserved. We have been able to obtain billions of dollars in compensation for personal injury victims, such as those affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, so we urge you to find out how our firm can assist you today. For a hassle-free way to get started, we encourage you to submit some basic information about your case through a free case evaluation or to call our firm directly.

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