Focused On Achieving Results For You

The top cause of offshore oil fatalities isn’t what you think

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Firm News |

Working in offshore oil and gas instruction is dangerous and demanding work. Employees strong and resilient enough to handle the strain can command good wages. Offshore oil and gas professionals have to perform physically complicated tasks in dangerous environments, often while working long shifts and going many days without a real break. 

There are numerous job risks associated with oil and gas extraction, and each of those risks contributes to the danger someone faces on the job. Knowing about those risks can help workers stay safer. However, many people misunderstand what is actually the biggest risk for injury when they work in the oil and gas industry at an offshore facility. They may overlook what is actually the most dangerous part of their employment while focusing on a less common risk.

What is the leading cause of offshore worker fatalities?

The biggest danger for modern offshore oil and gas workers involved getting to and from work or transporting the resources that they extract. Transportation incidents are responsible for roughly 41% of offshore oil and gas fatalities according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Contact with objects or equipment on the job caused another 25% of deaths, while fires and explosions caused just 15% of offshore fatalities, despite the ability of such incidents to grab media attention. While most people worry about fires and explosions, getting hurt on the way out to a rig or while headed back to shore is actually far more common. 

Why is transportation so dangerous?

Offshore transportation will typically occur in one of two ways. Workers may travel by boat from the shore to a rig. They could also travel by air on either a small plane or a helicopter, depending on the facilities available. Generally, this will mean that workers depend on professionals, possibly hired by their employer, to get them back and forth from their offshore work location.

However, transportation near the shoreline can be unpredictable and dangerous. Storms can blow up in a matter of minutes, and large waves can come out of seemingly nowhere to batter smaller employee transportation vessels. Both offshore workers hurt on the job and family members who lose a loved one employed by the oil and gas industry should learn as much as possible about their compensation rights.