The rights of an individual worker vary drastically from situation to situation. Often, a worker who gets hurt on the job will be able to file a straightforward workers’ compensation claim. This kind of no-fault insurance applies to most employees working in the United States.
However, to file a claim, a worker must actually be in a specific state and make a claim in accordance with that state’s laws. Maritime workers do their jobs at offshore locations, sometimes even out on international waters. They have different workplace protections than land-based employees.
The Jones Act allows workers to seek compensation when they get hurt at an offshore facility. Jones Act claims typically require more evidence and take longer to resolve than workers’ compensation benefits claims. Workers can reduce their chances of needing to make a claim by avoiding some of the biggest possible risks on the job.
Slips and falls
Falls are a leading source of both injury and death in numerous industries. In certain situations, falls are much more dangerous than in other scenarios. A fall at an offshore facility could be particularly dangerous for three reasons.
The first is that there are many elevated points where workers can fall a significant distance and suffer severe traumatic injuries. The second is the possibility of someone falling in a way that they contact chemicals, machinery or equipment. Finally, there is always the risk of someone falling off of a maritime facility and drowning or suffering exposure-related injuries.
One of the most dangerous parts of working in an offshore oil and gas facility is the transportation to and from the drilling platform. Especially when winds are high or seas are rough, transportation to offshore workspaces via boat or plane could lead to serious injury or death.
Fires and explosions
While they are rare compared to other, less catastrophic workplace accidents, fires and explosions can be deadly when they occur in a maritime environment. Workers may have no safe place to escape, and they may have to wait hours for emergency responders.
Keeping an eye out for your biggest risks as a maritime worker may help you avoid injuries. Should you get hurt, however, an attorney can help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.