New York readers may be aware of the oil rig explosion that recently occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. At least four workers on board the platform suffered workplace injuries in the accident consisting of serious burn injuries. Two of these burn victims remain in critical condition. One of the victims is in serious condition, while one has been upgraded to fair condition.
In addition to the workers burned by the burning platform, two other workers went missing in the immediate wake of the accident. The body of one of the missing men was discovered nearby to the oil rig platform, but one more man remains missing. At the time of reports, the company that owns the rig continued their search for the man.
What led to this workplace accident? Initial reports said that workers were using a torch to cut an oil line on the platform, and may have cut the wrong line. However, those were denied by a company spokesperson. Officials are certain, however, that oil is not leaking from the platform, which had not been in operation since August.
This workplace accident may have been preventable if the owner and operators were following proper precautions and regulations to ensure the safety of all employees working in and around the oil rig.
Although workplace accidents that occur on oil platforms are covered by the Jones Act, as opposed to specific workers’ compensation laws, injured workers and the families of deceased employees may still be eligible for some form of compensation. As the investigation into the explosion continues, those affected by the tragedy will gain more insight into their legal options going forward.
Workers’ compensation laws in New York are complex, and each time claims are filed the ruling will be based upon the circumstances surrounding the workplace accident and the subsequent injuries.
Source: Fox News, “Oil rig owner searches for 2nd missing man after Gult oil rig explosion. 1 body recovered,” Nov. 18, 2012