Since Louisiana has a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, a great number of state residents work in various industries on the Gulf. Oil and gas is a key industry in the state and neighboring states as well. Platforms are a necessary part of this endeavor and they need maintenance and workers stationed on them. These structures can have accidents for a variety of reasons and there can be injuries and death. People who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a work accident on an oil and gas platform should be aware of the process to have an investigation into the circumstances of the accident and seek advice on a potential wrongful death lawsuit.
A recent news article detailed how a worker on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico died as piping was being replaced. According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the employee suffered injuries as equipment for fire suppression was being removed. The worker later died. The company, based in Houston, is investigating the incident and working with regulatory authorities as it moves forward. The accident happened a short distance away – around 64 miles – from Lake Charles. A subsidiary of the parent company was operating the platform.
This accident highlights that dangers that platform workers face. There were 29 accidents in offshore drilling from 2009 to 2016. These are the most up to date statistics available from BSEE. The company noted in the recent article has had a notably questionable history with a fatality on a platform in 2013 months after regulators had ordered it to improve its performance. It had paid $4.2 million in fines and had felony violations that resulted in the company being placed on probation for offshore actions. It issued a guilty plea for not complying with regulations related to blowout preventer testing and hot work. There were other guilty pleas for various violations.
When there is the loss of a loved one in a work accident, the family left behind must face the reality that the person will never return home. Regardless of the type of job a person does, no one thinks that a loved one will die when they leave for work. If this happens, there will be numerous considerations, including lost wages, the emotional pain from the death, funeral expenses and more. Having legal help is especially important when there is a federal investigation regarding an accident on an oil and gas platform.
Source: reuters.com, “Oil worker killed on Talos Energy platform in U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” Liz Hampton and Ernest Scheyder, Feb. 20, 2018