The Dangers of Gas Leaks on Offshore Drilling Platforms

Working on an offshore drilling platform comes with inherent risks that workers are typically trained to handle. However, safety training only goes so far when an emergency situation threatens the well-being of workers on a platform. Anyone who has been injured while working offshore should be aware that there are rights afforded to maritime workers. The Jones Act provides these workers with opportunities to collect compensation following an accident. Maritime law firms can help injured workers better understand their rights. A Jones Act Lawyer is tasked with aggressively pursuing the compensation that a client deserves. Recent gas leaks occurring on offshore platforms have caused dangerous work conditions for offshore workers. Gas leaks represent just one of the common risks associated with working on an offshore drilling platform. The Risks of Working on an Offshore Drilling Platform Working on an offshore drilling platform is no easy task. Workers often put in up to 14 hours per day doing grueling labor that is physically intensive. Offshore platforms can be located over 100 miles from land, so workers are separated from their families for weeks at a time. The work is inherently dangerous, and negligence on the part of any worker or employer just increases the risk of disaster. Accidents can result in major injuries or even death. Over 20 people are killed on offshore oil rigs each year. Fires and explosions are rare, but the fact that gas and millions of barrels of oil are present on a platform means that the risk of fire is real. Heavy equipment has the potential to cause injuries as well. Adequate training on the use of equipment can lessen the risk of injury or death, but it is not possible to completely eliminate the danger. Recent Offshore Platform Gas Leaks Recent gas leaks highlight the danger associated with offshore drilling. A serious accident leading to a gas leak on an Atlantic oil platform owned by Brazilian company Petrobras took 30 minutes to contain. Quick-thinking workers were able to prevent any oil from being spilled during the leak, but the incident could have ended very differently if workers were not so quick to act. A heavy flow of gas is currently causing major problems in the Gulf of Mexico. An oil platform located off the coast of Louisiana that is controlled by Rowan Companies has been leaking, and over 30 workers are attempting to stop the leak. While no spills, fires or explosions have occurred, it is possible for this leak to become dangerous as it continues to flow out of control. The fire risk associated with the leak is high, and Rowan Companies has been forced to take extra precautions to prevent workers from being injured while working to contain the leak. Gas leaks and spills have been the source of a significant number of injuries and deaths over the years. The British Petroleum (BP) oil spill off of the coast of Louisiana that occurred in 2010 resulted in 11 deaths and many more injuries. Leaks that are not promptly controlled can end up causing billions of dollars of damage when these leaks progress into spills. Injuries and death occur during oil spills, and the environmental impact of these accidents is astronomical. Workers can be protected by safety measures to an extent, but offshore drilling will always pose a danger to the people who work on offshore platforms. Anyone who has been injured in an oil rig accident should contact an attorney for help. Family members of workers who were killed while working on a rig may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and final expenses.