man working on shell platform where accident happened

A recent accident on Shell Oil’s Auger Tension Leg Platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in two deaths and another injury. Federal authorities continue to investigate the accident and the causes behind it.

According to authorities, the accident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. The platform is located about 214 miles southwest of New Orleans in the Gulf, and this most recent incident marks the third fatal accident to occur on an offshore oil platform in barely over a month. It has once again raised concerns among safety advocates and federal agencies about how these oil companies are protecting their workers and what can be done to ensure greater safety on oil platforms.

The Investigation Begins

In May, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement set up new investigation panels to look into the other accidents that had already occurred on platforms. With this most recent accident, the U.S. Coast Guard sent officers from its New Orleans Investigations Unit to investigate the platform to determine the cause of the incident and to inspect the state of equipment on the platform. Shell is cooperating fully with federal authorities during this process.

One of the fatalities was to a Shell employee, and the other was to a contractor with Danos. The injured party was another Shell employee, who was released from the hospital after receiving treatment and was expected to make a full recovery.

Your Legal Options After an Oil Rig Accident

A person who has been injured in an accident on an oil platform, or the family of a person who died in such an accident, may be able to recover compensation.

  • Under the Jones Act, injured workers involved in oil rig accidents can recover compensation if they qualify under the federal definition of a “seaman” and if they were working aboard a vessel considered to be “in navigation” at the time of the accident. While oil platforms might not necessarily be considered in navigation in accordance with the Jones Act, workers aboard those platforms may still be able to recover under the act.
  • Another option would be to file a claim in accordance with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a piece of legislation that considers fixed oil platforms to be considered an island of the nearest state. As such, the injury may be covered under that state’s workers’ compensation laws.

  • Finally, the Death on the High Seas Act gives the family members of a qualifying seaman killed in an offshore accident the ability to seek compensation for their loss. The death must have occurred more than three nautical miles off the United States coast, and during the course of the victim’s work.

For more information about how best to proceed with your case, contact the trusted Lafayette personal injury attorney, Mark Artall, APLC, today.

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