No matter what kind of work you do on an oil rig, it has its risks. Although technological advancements have made oil rigs safer, devastating accidents can still happen.
If you suffer an injury while at work, you may be looking at a lengthy convalescence. What kind of compensation can you expect?
Maritime laws that protect offshore workers
Workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state, but offshore oil rigs are not in a state. While you are out on the water, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation.
Maritime law provides protection for oil rig workers injured on the job. As a worker on an offshore oil rig, you may have coverage under the Jones Act because you qualify as an employee of a seagoing vessel, even if your place of employment is not a ship.
If you work on a fixed rig, then your compensation may come from a different source. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers those on fixed rigs, as well as those who work on docks.
Sources of compensation
You will need money to cover your injuries, of course, as well as room and board since you cannot live on the vessel while you receive treatment. Maintenance and cure cover these. If your injury is the result of negligence, you may also be able to seek further compensation in a federal court.
Oil rig work is, in a word, dangerous. If you are an employee, seek immediate medical assistance if you should become injured.