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Exploring the Most Common Maritime and Offshore Injuries


Experienced Attorney Helping Victims of Offshore Accidents in New Orleans and Along the Gulf Coast

Offshore and maritime jobs play a pivotal role in the country’s economy. From oil drilling to transporting goods across the ocean, these jobs promote the global market. However they are also some of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

Oil rigs, natural gas wells, offshore facilities, and even fishers all have serious risks they face daily on their jobs. The conditions around them are unforgiving, and a single error can lead to a catastrophic, devastating injury.

In addition, defective equipment, poorly maintained vessels, and negligence are just some of the reasons employees suffer injuries while working offshore. In most cases, these victims can receive compensation for their injuries too.

What are the Most Common Injuries for Offshore Workers?

Various injuries happen offshore, but some of the more common among maritime and offshore workers include:

  • Falling Overboard: Fishermen and oil rig workers are at risk of falling overboard. From cluttered decks to uneven or slippery surfaces, numerous hazards increase the likelihood that a worker will fall overboard and into the waters below. Falling overboard can result in drowning, hypothermia, and injuries from propellers.
  • Slip and Falls: Slip, trip, and fall injuries are also common on oil rigs and boats. These injuries can result in broken bones, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Chemical and Toxic Exposure: Employees working on vessels or oil rigs are often in small, enclosed spaces with little ventilation. In short, when you mix these conditions with chemicals and airborne toxins, it can lead to poisoning, health complications, and even asphyxia.
  • Burns: Vessels and oil rig fires are devastating and can lead to severe, third-degree burns. On a boat or oil rig, where employees cannot escape the fire, it could result in multiple fatalities.
  • Repetitive Use Disorders: Most offshore jobs require workers to perform the same task repeatedly throughout the day. Repeated movements put workers at risk for repetitive motion disorder. The most commonly affected parts of the body include the back, hip, legs, ankles, neck, and wrists.
  • Fishing Injuries: Fishing includes lumpers, crab fishermen, and deep-sea fishers. Hundreds are killed in this line of work annually, and much more injured. Common injuries include knifing, drowning, broken bones, becoming entrapped in nets, and amputations.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries are common for seamen and oil rig workers. Therefore, TBIs are one of the most common. TBIs occur from slips and falls, being struck by an object, moving cargo, falls from heights, and defective equipment.

When are Offshore Injuries a Matter of Negligence?

While these jobs are inherently dangerous, that does not mean an injury that occurs offshore is not preventable. Most injuries in these situations are preventable and typically result from negligence, relaxed safety procedures, or defective equipment.

The most common types of negligence that lead to offshore injuries include:

  • Failing to repair or maintain equipment;
  • Failure to remove and secure decks and equipment;
  • Overworking employees and not providing adequate breaks;
  • Improper training;
  • Not supplying proper safety equipment;
  • Inability to identify poor sea or weather conditions.

Contact our Experienced Attorney in New Orleans, LA

In conclusion, Maritime law and the Jones Act provide you with protection if you are injured while working offshore. Whether your injury occurred on an oil rig, tugboat, barge, or crew ship, contact Shlosman Law Firm immediately.

Tom Shlosman can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, including medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. Schedule a free case evaluation with an offshore injury attorney now at 504-826-9427 or request information about our services online.