Worker fatigue is an underreported risk for offshore workers

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2021 | Maritime Law

Many of the biggest risks that oil and gas workers at offshore facilities face are dramatic. Fires, explosions and even equipment failures can be loud, shocking events that draw the world’s attention.

While such incidents certainly do contribute to the risks faced by those helping with the extraction and transportation of offshore resources, one of the biggest risks on the job is far easier to overlook. Worker fatigue may not be the most obvious or dramatic issue that affects workers at an offshore job site, but it definitely contributes to someone’s risk of getting hurt on the job.

Fatigue makes it harder for you to do your work safely

When you feel tired, it isn’t just your body that seems to move more slowly. Your brain will also perform differently. Fatigue or exhaustion can increase your reaction time, cause difficulty with focusing, lead to poor decisions or even result in falling asleep unexpectedly.

If you are working in a location where a single misstep could mean coming into contact with dangerous machinery or slipping off of a platform into the ocean, fatigue could be a deadly issue on the job. Many oil and gas workers put in extremely long hours and perform physically exhausting labor, often going a week or longer without a full day of rest.

Workers not given adequate time to rest could wind up hurt on the job and in a position where they have to figure out their rights after suffering a maritime workplace injury. Unlike those hurt on land, offshore workers can’t just ask for workers’ compensation but must instead pursue personal injury claims under federal laws that protect them. An experienced attorney can help.