Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries in Offshore Drilling

Oil and gas industries are usually always in the news. Most of the time it’s regarding the change in the price of oil or gas, which affects consumers on a daily basis. What is not as frequently reported on is the sometimes fatal injuries that can be sustained when disasters strike in offshore oil drilling and other incidents.

Fatal Offshore Work Injuries

In 2008, there were a total of 120 fatal work injuries in the oil and gas extraction industry. The three most frequent fatal events were:

  • Transportation incidents (41%)
  • Contact with objects and equipment (25%)
  • Fires and explosions (15%)

Of the transportation incidents, three-quarters involved were highway incidents. Men accounted for all of these fatal work injuries in 2008, 25 to 34 being the age range that incurred the most fatal injuries. The majority of the workers were white, around 75%, while a smaller 17% were Hispanic or Latino. The three states with the most oil or gas industry fatal work injuries were Texas with 41 fatal injuries, Oklahoma with 21 injuries, and Louisana, with a total of 13 injuries. From 2004-2008, Oklahoma fatal work injuries in the industry increased 91%, while Texas increased 21% and Louisiana by 30%.

Nonfatal offshore Work Injuries

Drilling oil and gas wells is an industry from oil and gas production, and is classified under support activities for mining. The industry includes contractors that have skills in spudding in, drilling in, redrilling, and directional drilling.

In the four-year period of 2003-2007, the number of recordable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses ranged from 2,400 in 2003 and 4,700 in 2005, and 4,200 in 2007.

The Dangers of the offshore Job

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employees working for offshore oil and gas operations were found for be seven times more likely to die on the job than the average U.S. worker. The CDC studied fatalities from 2003 to 2010 and found that 128 people have died while working of offshore operations, such as the famous rig by 2010’s Deepwater Horizon explosion and the oil spill that killed 11 people. A majority of these incidents were transportation related, or helicopter accidents due to poor weather and mechanical failures. The average fatality rate for U.S. workers is 3.8 deaths per 100,000 workers. This rate is 27.1 per 100,000 offshore employees. The average annual salary for an offshore worker is $37,640, as of 2010. According to CNBC, it has been named one of the worst 10 jobs in America.

To find out if you are able to claim compensation from either the Jones Act or Workers Compensation Act, you can contact the National Injury Attorneys, LLC at 1-800-214-1010.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Studies, Huffington Post