Offshore Construction Accidents

Offshore work is necessary for the oil and gas industries. The work requires employees to spend long periods of time working on rigs and platforms that are located away from the mainland. These rigs need to be constructed and maintained on an ongoing basis. Offshore construction may be more dangerous than building on land because it involves the use of large, heavy machinery and the installation of oil rig platforms and equipment. People have to work in dangerous conditions. There are many different jobs that must be completed as part of a construction project.

Types of Offshore Construction Accidents

Construction projects consist of analysis, engineering, planning, and installation of a facility that operates off the coast. The actual construction portion of the project requires lifting and placement of heavy equipment, building a platform or rig assembly and constructing all the various areas needed for complete operation. Accidents may include:

  • Fires or explosions
  • Heavy equipment accidents
  • Crane and lifting accidents
  • Transport errors
  • Exposure to toxic materials
  • Falling objects
  • Dive problems
  • Welding mishaps
  • Slip and falls

The company has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for those working directly for them or as subcontractors. The safety of offshore construction is generally guided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if the construction site is located in United States waters.

Injuries from Construction Mishaps

There are many different kinds of injuries that may be sustained due to accidents while taking part in offshore operations. Some of the most common types of injuries that may include:

  • Head, neck or back injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • The bends and other diver-related problems
  • Bruises, contusions, and sprains
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Drowning
  • Serious cuts or lacerations

Injuries sustained while away from shore are more serious because it may take hours to transport an injured person to the shoreline. Some accidents occur because of poor weather conditions. The weather can also play a part in the ability to take a person to a hospital.

Companies are required to provide a safe working environment for workers. Regular inspections of the job site need to be completed along with proper maintenance of equipment and tools. Employees must be properly trained on how to use the equipment before they are allowed to handle it. Teams should be in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Most injuries can be avoided if adequate safety procedures are followed.

A comprehensive emergency response procedure should be in place in case an accident occurs. Medical treatment must be immediately rendered to prevent injuries from worsening. The patient should be stabilized while making arrangements to have the employee transported to a hospital on shore. The failure of the company to provide prompt care could cause further injury or death. The company might be negligent if they did not take the safety precautions necessary or failed to ensure the safety of its workers. Those who were seriously hurt due to negligence in an offshore incident may need to take legal action to be compensated for their damages.

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