Maritime workers perform their labor in some of the most inhospitable climates. It is up to employers to make sure that their places of work, be it shipyards, offshore platforms or vessels, pose as little safety risk as possible despite the circumstances.
For those injured on the job, federal organizations working with Louisiana have statutes and protections that may allow offshore injury claims to proceed smoothly.
Slip risks and falls
Offshore workers are no strangers to slippery conditions, and a fall on deck or off something higher poses a chance for serious or even catastrophic injury. According to OSHA, employers must provide good housekeeping to ensure designated walkways are free of any dangerous materials and cleared of slip risks like snow or ice. But slippery surfaces might be unavoidable and so employers may instead provide slip-resistant gear like footwear.
Machinery on a vessel may require workers to squeeze into tight areas. On top of that, these spaces may lack proper ventilation or have flammable or toxic materials running through them when in use. OSHA advises any repair or maintenance done should include a thorough investigation of the space before a worker does any labor inside.
Ignorance of risks and rights
According to the CDC, many injuries result from a lack of training. Some offshore workers do not know they are in dangerous working conditions and some do not know what kind of recourse they have when injured on deck. On-deck safety helps reduce these risks. Leaning on resources that require employers be transparent and workers educated may further reduce the dangers of offshore working conditions. If an employer fails to be transparent, it is up to the workers and these laws to hold them accountable and keep people safe.