Commercial Diving Accidents

Commercial divers, especially those working in the oil and gas industry, face serious risks every day. Divers depend on their equipment, their skills and experience, and the skill and experience of their dive team. When a team member or equipment fails, it’s the diver’s life that’s on the line.

Though most any situation underwater can quickly become a matter of life or death, some of the common issues that cause diver injuries include-

  • Contaminated or improperly mixed breathing gas can severely injury or even kill a diver
  • Decompression sickness from rising to the surface too quickly or using incorrect compression tables.
  • Faulty or poorly maintained equipment is deadly to the underwater diver. If a compressor, rebreather, oxygen tank, regulator, or oral mask fails, the diver could easily suffer a catastrophic injury.
  • Differential pressure may occur when a valve on a pipeline or other underwater structure is opened, creating an intense suction that can amputate a diver’s limb or even trap them underwater.
  • Fires and explosions underwater happen more often when divers are performing construction and maintenance and must use welders and cutting torches while wearing oxygen. One slip, leak, or failure can ignite the oxygen and cause severe injury to the diver.

Divers rely heavily on their support teams, so if any member of the team fails, the diver pays the price. Poorly trained dive team members or ones who act in a negligent manner increase the likelihood of a diver accident or injury.

When commercial divers are injured or killed in a job-related accident, certain federal laws protect their legal rights. However, it may not be easy to disseminate which law covers a particular accident. The Jones Act covers workers classified as seamen, but divers, the vessels or platforms they work on or dive from, as well as who actually employs them are all factors that may exempt a diver from Jones Act coverage.

Maritime law is complex. If you have been seriously injured or if you have lost a loved one in a commercial dive accident, speak to us as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in fighting for people in the commercial maritime industries, and we stand ready to fight for you. Fill out the form for more information.

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