Oil rig accidents continue to be on the rise throughout the United States. Given the nature of the work and the setting, these incidents often lead to severe or fatal injuries. Another significant repercussion of these incidents is the environmental impact.
Victims of oil rig accidents can seek justice and compensation for their injuries. With legal help, they can identify the at-fault party and build a strong case against them.
How to Deal With Oil Rig Accidents Cases
When an oil rig accident occurs, those injured or the families of those killed may seek legal action against the entity or entities responsible for the accident.
You may file a claim directly with the involved insurance company. If the company does not have insurance or the policy does not cover the death or injury, you may pursue legal action against that company. If you were wronged, get the right lawyers on your side for oil rig accidents with Buzbee Law Firm.
The government has implemented a system of fines and other sanctions to encourage oil companies to maintain safety standards on their rigs. The U.S. Department of Interior imposes fines under criminal and civil penalties for violating safety regulations.
Furthermore, because of the potential danger that oil rigs create, Congress has enacted safety and environmental laws. The laws are intended to prevent oil rigs from becoming environmental disasters and protect workers on and around rigs from injury or death during accidents.
Oil Pollution Act, OPA
This law was enacted in 1990 to protect the environment from oil spills and other dangers. This act intends to hold a company liable for all cleanup costs and damages from an oil rig accident. However, accidents can still occur despite safety efforts.
The OPA will still hold an oil company partially liable for an oil spill, even if it occurred due to a worker’s negligence or a third party’s actions. To be held liable under this statute, the company must have done something to contribute to the accident. This law also establishes criminal penalties for violations of the law.
Common Causes of Oil Rig Accidents
Oil rig accidents have been on the rise in the past few years in U.S. waters, with 69 fatalities reported in 2017. Oil rig accidents can result in death or injury to those in and around the water, create a major environmental disaster, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
An excellent example of how dangerous oil rig accidents can be is the Deepwater Horizon disaster which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing ten people.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, worker mistakes are one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths. When looking at oil rig accidents alone, worker mistakes result in more than one-third of these deaths.
Weather is also a common cause of oil rig accidents and other workplace accidents.
While oil rigs are designed with safety systems and backup systems, instability can lead to an accident. In some instances, this can cause injuries, while other times, it can lead to a hazardous spill that could cause death.
Oil rig accidents are often caused by failing equipment and sudden malfunctions. In some cases, these malfunctions can cause an explosion if not addressed quickly enough. Many accidents, however, occur due to a lack of proper maintenance.
How to Prevent Oil Rig Accidents
The federal government has implemented safety and environmental laws to better protect those working on and around these rigs. Workers and contractors should also follow safety guidelines to ensure they remain safe. By following these guidelines, you can reduce the chances of an oil rig accident and help prevent a major environmental disaster.
Work in a Safe Manner
Oil rigs consist of machinery and equipment that require daily maintenance. Workers must also follow proper procedures while on or near the oil rig.
Make Sure You Have the Proper Training
Employees must always be trained to perform their duties correctly. This includes training on safety procedures, safety equipment, and emergency procedures.
Each worker must report any accidents or dangerous situations they witness to their employer’s supervisors, who will then take necessary actions.
Always Wear Protective Gear
In addition to following safety procedures, each oil rig worker must wear the appropriate protective gear when working near any machinery. It is also their responsibility to make sure that the gear fits them properly.
Taking legal action against an oil company or any other entity responsible for an oil spill can be a difficult task. However, you should not become discouraged to go against a large corporation to pursue justice. A skilled lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong case.
With a law degree under his belt, Mark Scott understood very early that law communication was a relatively neglected area. He decided to help people by “translating” the language and offering information and advice in a clear, useful, and actionable manner. For this reason, instead of finding him in court, you will most likely find his name online, where he is very active and thriving as a legal columnist. His part of making the world a better place is to make the law a less convoluted maze. He aims to make it easier for people to understand when and how to seek legal counsel, how to proceed in a significant number of legal matters, and to find the proper resources so they can stand up for their rights.