Offshore oil rig

The maritime industry comes with many inherent dangers. Workers are frequently required to work on jack up rigs, drilling rigs, various types of platforms and lift boats, all of which are crucial pieces of equipment for the process of extracting oil and gas from mineral deposits.

Getting out to these job sites is typically done with the use of personnel baskets, which may be attached to large cranes or other pieces of equipment. Workers who will be transported to the job site load into the round structure of the basket, which then gets lifted up to the platform deck or structure where the crew will be working. In some variations, workers may get strapped into bucket seats during the transfer process.

The process of transferring personnel out to these job sites can be dangerous, and is considered to be a high-risk endeavor. It is possible for accidents to occur that can result in serious injury or death. If you’re involved in such an accident, it is important for you to exercise your right to compensation and work with a basket transfer accident lawyer.

The dangers of personnel basket transfers

When injuries occur during personnel basket transfer, it’s usually as a result of one of the following causes:

  • Unsafe conditions at sea: Safety protocols dictate basket transfer should only occur when seas are calm enough to do so safely. If the seas are rough, companies must hold on basket transfers until conditions are safer.

  • High winds: If there are high winds blowing, basket transfer becomes much more complicated and unsafe. The high winds could cause either the basket or the crane to move, which throws off the precision of the transfer and makes it dangerous.

  • Human error: Crane operators must go through significant training before they are allowed to take on basket transfer procedures. If the crane operator lowers the basket too quickly, moves the basket in the wrong direction, or makes any other kind of error during the process, they could easily cause injury to the workers in the basket.

Safety precautions and lawsuits

Anyone operating the crane must be certified in use for transferring people in the basket to and from the equipment. In addition, there must be thorough safety checks conducted on all equipment used for the transfer before each transfer occurs to ensure all moving parts of the equipment are in safe operational condition. It is also necessary for employees at the rig to check environmental conditions (seas, winds, upcoming weather events) before making any transfers so they know if it will be safe to do so.

Employers are responsible for ensuring all of the proper safety procedures and protocols are implemented and followed by all workers. A failure on the part of an employer to perform the necessary safety inspections and ensure proper certification of employees can result in that employer being considered liable for any accidents that occur.

Even if the injury was purely an accident and the employer was not liable, you can still seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for just that scenario.

For more information about the legal options you have available, we encourage you to contact an offshore accident lawyer at Mark Artall, APLC. We look forward to working with you and helping you get the compensation you deserve.

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