A platform supply vessel (PSV) is a working ship that is designed to provide supplies to offshore oil rigs and handle other important tasks. Besides transporting supplies and equipment, these types of vessels also bring workers to and from the oil rig. It may additionally be used for temporary residences for ship workers. The ship is small and includes a sleeping area, galley and other areas for short-term use. Crews working or living on these ships are subject to many of the same possible perils as those on other vessels, rigs, and platforms.
Types of Accidents that May Occur
There are various types of accidents that could happen aboard or near a platform supply vessel. Some accidents can result in serious injuries or even a fatality. Common types of problems that may happen include:
- Vessel accidents and collisions
- Deck accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Slip and falls
- Machinery malfunctions
- Unseaworthy conditions
- Shifting cargo
Working on and around a PSV can be dangerous. The vessel may not be properly inspected on a regular basis, and there could be a shortage of crew members to handle the vessel. The result may be an accident that causes bodily harm or death to a worker. The U.S. Coast Guard has the authority to enforce regulations under vessel inspection laws. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had the authority to make sure that workers have safe and healthy working conditions.
Injuries and What to Do About Them
When a worker sustains an injury aboard a PSV or on a rig or platform the situation can be made more difficult because of the distance from shore. Even a relatively minor injury can worsen if it is not quickly treated. The company is responsible for the safety of its crew members. A plan must be in place to provide medical care to an injured worker. The failure to do so could be the difference between life and death.
Some injuries are minor, while others are much more serious. Minor injuries can often be treated aboard the vessel. These may include minor cuts and scrapes, bruises and sprains. Injuries of a more severe nature require immediate medical care. Burns, head trauma, crush injuries, back, and neck injuries, broken bones, exposure to toxic substances and drowning must all be treated as medical emergencies. In some instances, the vessel is miles away from shore and arrangements need to be made to transport the injured individual to a trauma center on the land. In inclement weather conditions, the trip may need to be postponed.
In many instances, the accident might be due to negligence on the part of the company. Unsafe conditions, machinery that isn’t functioning properly and untrained employees can all add up to an increased risk of injuries. The Jones Act is legislation that provides a remedy for workers who were seriously hurt aboard a vessel or on an offshore platform. Owners or operators of vessels who were negligent are responsible for injuries or deaths that result.