Jack-Up Rig Accidents

Jack-Up Rig Accidents

A jack-up rig is a type of platform used for offshore oil drilling operations. It is commonly called a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). This type of rig first started use in 1954 and can be utilized in water that is up to 120 meters in depth. It is unique in that it can be raised or lowered to accommodate changes in weather or water conditions to allow for continued operations. It is also used to provide service and repairs to other oil platforms since it can be positioned next to them. There are two types including open truss and columnar.

Safety Concerns

Accidents may occur when the rig is being set up or at any time during operation. Before installing the rig, the ocean floor should be properly surveyed. A punch through accident occurs when one of the legs breaks through the floor causing the other legs to bend and the rig to fold or bend. Maneuvering the platform during installation could be difficult to control and may cause an accident.

A wet tow is another safety concern. Towing a rig from one location to another may be problematic, especially if there are large waves or heavy weather conditions. In a dry tow, the jack-up is lifted onto a vessel that will carry it to another destination. Lifting the platform can be difficult and dangerous in some instances. Older rigs are harder to move and can be more hazardous. These older structures could have fatigue issues that may become apparent when they are moved.

Accidents and Injuries

A number of different accidents might occur that could cause serious injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides information to help companies and workers stay safe while working on rigs. Some of the most common types of accidents include:

  • Being struck by swinging loads
  • Getting crushed by equipment
  • Electrical dangers with hoisting equipment
  • Falls

These types of injuries may happen when equipment is moved or put into place on the rig. A load might not be properly secured, or the equipment could malfunction. Defective electrical tools may cause shock or electrocution injuries. The surface may be uneven or wet and slippery and cause workers to slip and fall. Ladders could be dangerous, especially when the rig is in motion.

Injuries due to jack-up rig accidents range from minor to serious. Some injuries are life-threatening and workers could be permanently disabled or may die. Head, back and neck injuries are among the most serious. The company should have safety procedures in place to prevent accidents from happening. Equipment must be regularly inspected, and employees need to be given training to learn how to work safely.

Companies are required to ensure the safety of their employees. Practices must be in place to maintain a safe work environment. Managers and others need to know how to perform tasks safely. A plan for how to handle accidents and emergency situations could help to minimize injuries and prevent fatalities. The failure to provide safe conditions for employees or the failure to adequately inspect equipment might be considered negligence on the part of the company. Those who were injured in a maritime accident could be entitled to compensation for the related expenses.

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