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Outdated equipment could cause injuries on oil rigs and platforms

Many people here in Louisiana work in dangerous industries. They hope their employers provide them with the latest equipment in order to help keep them safe, but that does not always happen. For instance, it is probably not that unusual to find outdated equipment on oil rigs and platforms, such as their control systems, that could easily cause serious injuries to workers.

Minor repairs are needed all the time on oil platforms. Replacing parts is certainly easier and less expensive than replacing whole systems. A complete upgrade could cost as much as $20 million. Instead of laying out that kind of money, many companies attempt to only upgrade those parts of the system they can no longer simply repair since the technologies are no longer compatible.

This means that other parts remain outdated. Companies mandate that old and new parts of the system must coexist as long as possible. It may be possible to find a system that extends the time that these controls systems can continue to operate while keeping cost and time down. They say it also keeps the risks to workers at bay, but that may not always be the case.

Louisiana residents who work on these oil rigs and platforms may not always feel as safe as the company says they are. Injuries could easily occur that cause workers to incur a substantial amount of medical expenses and lost income, among other things. Oil platform employees do not qualify for traditional workers' compensation insurance, instead, they may file claims through the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in pursuit of restitution for those financial losses.

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