Tug: Bisso Marine – Houston, TX

Bisso Marine has operated in the marine construction industry since 1890. It has a fleet of offshore derrick, bury, and pipelay barges, anchor handling tugs, and diving support vessels. The company was founded on the bank of the Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana, and was fully vested in offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico by the 1940s. Its headquarters were relocated to Houston, Texas, in 2005.

The organization has been labeled Safety & Environmental Management System compliant by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, based on a company information brochure. It is a member of the GOM Diving Safety Work Group and holds weekly senior management safety meetings.

In addition, there is a stop work obligation program, in which employees are obligated to cease what they’re doing if conditions or actions are perceived to be unsafe. Training is provided per Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. Firefighting, water survival, and shipboard training are provided per company policies.

Company Statistics

Based on Bisso Marine’s data, its Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), or computation that assess safety performance accounting for recordable safety incidents per number of hours worked, was 0.35 (5-year average), as of 1Q 2015. In 2014, it was 0.40 while in 2012 it was 0.31. The company has safety awards programs for individuals, itself, and for vessels and departments. It also has an Experience Modification Rate (EMOD) of 0.80 for 2014, down from 0.87 in 2012.

Employee Injuries

In 2002, a plaintiff brought an admiralty suit against the company following back injuries suffered in 2000, on two occasions. The claim was for negligence related to an unseaworthy survey vessel. One on occasion, the individual claimed to suffer back pain when attaching a small vessel to a truck hitch, and another allegedly occurred while operating a trailer hitch preparing for a depth survey. Legal issues included that the incidents did not occur on navigable waters, although the worker sustained injuries while performing work for Bisso.

In 1979, a plaintiff claimed injury due to negligence while working on a towboat owned by Bisso. He alleged he was a crew member and was entitled to $900,000 in damages. A jury awarded him $250,000, finding the individual was a seaman under the Jones Act. Although a new trial reversed that judgment, it does demonstrate how companies can face liability for injuries suffered by workers on their vessels.

If you were injured while on the job at Bisso Marine, fill out our form for more info on how you can receive help and compensation.

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