Been to the pump lately? Filling up the tank is not the dreaded experience it was just a couple of years ago. The price of crude oil has been on the steady decline in recent months and for the average consumer, it’s great news. Families have more leeway with their spending and savings as less of their budget is sucked away at the gas station.
For an oil rig worker, the collapsing price of crude oil may mean fewer employment opportunities. Energy firms have been cutting oil rigs week after week to the lowest levels in over 6 years. To give you perspective on the situation, there were 439 operating rigs as of week end Feb 12, compared to 1,056 oil rigs the same week in 2015 – an astounding 58% drop in rigs in just one year.
Pierce | Skrabanek has been representing hard-working oil rig workers for years and we know how resilient they are and how much they love doing their job. Hustling to find work is not an ideal day for a rig worker – putting in hours on a platform is time much better spent.
For rig workers, the pressure may be on. Rig operators may be trying to turn a profit or at least keep their rig online by cutting corners. This may include not following safety measures to code.
Anytime safety protocols are not followed on a rig, it can put workers at risk for injury or even death. PSB is here to stand up for the rights of rig workers who have been harmed at the hands of employers who are negligent or careless.
Possible Compromises in Safety
During an oil rig downturn, organizations are likely to focus on accomplishing more with less. As additional duties are lumped onto fewer employees, it can mean that safety falls by the wayside as workers struggle to do their jobs. Workers may rush through tasks, not taking the time to perform them safely.
What’s more, workers may be distracted, worrying if they will hold onto their jobs. They may feel that they are under the microscope and that their employer is looking for an easy excuse to replace them with another worker out of work.
When you put all these factors together, this tense situation, in an already high risk industry, can mean workers fall victim to preventable accidents.
I’ve Been Injured. What Do I Do?
Maybe safety has been lax on your rig and you were harmed in a mishap. No doubt you are concerned about your health and your job, and may be wondering what to do next. Here are some tips to get you started on the path to recovery:
- The first and most important step is seeking medical attention right away. Remember that you may not feel pain immediately. Symptoms from some injuries may take hours or even days to surface. Also, adrenaline pumping through your body at the time of the incident may mask discomfort. Not getting seen by a healthcare professional can compromise your health and a personal injury claim.
- Report the injury to your employer as soon as you can. Delaying an injury report may make it seem that you were non-compliant with your employer, and undermine your personal injury claim.
- Document the accident using every method available to you. This includes snapping pictures of the scene and your injuries, if possible. Be sure to jot down what happened while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Were there any witnesses? If so, collect their personal information to contact them at a later time.
- Consider hiring an attorney. Maritime and personal injury laws are in place to help workers like you. Yes, you can try and represent your own claim, but maritime attorney will know the ins and outs of the law and can make the strongest case for you. Quite simply, a good maritime attorney should be able to get you the maximum compensation, which you are highly unlikely to get on your own.