Some Louisiana residents make their living working out on the water, but not on navigable vessels. Instead, they work on oil platforms, which comes with numerous dangers. Even when a company takes safety on an offshore oil platform seriously, accidents still happen that cause injuries and take lives.
For example, Shell operates an auger tension leg platform out in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere in the neighborhood of 214 miles from New Orleans. Recently, personnel on the platform were conducting safety drills when an accident occurred. At around 9 a.m. on June 30, tragedy struck during a mandatory and routine lifeboat launch and retrieval test.
The details of the accident were not reported, but reports indicate that the platform remains stable and no environmental issues resulted from the incident. Even so, two workers lost their lives and one other suffered injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening. Those individuals were engaged in a safety test when this happens, which simply illustrates the reality that any work-related activity comes with risk. When people are injured, it impacts their ability to earn a living whether temporarily or permanently.
This incident shows just how precarious safety on an offshore oil platform can be. Since these workers do not qualify for traditional workers' compensation benefits like many Louisiana residents who work on land, they have to turn to other means to pursue benefits and restitution, and so do the families of those who lose their lives. Filing a claim under the Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Act could result in much needed help with the financial losses that accompany injuries and deaths.