3 essential safety practices for seamen on offshore oil rigs

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Offshore accidents

Working on offshore oil rigs can be dangerous. Workers often operate heavy machinery at great heights and handle potentially dangerous substances. This work exposes them to serious risks, like falls, equipment failures and hazardous conditions.

To mitigate these potential risks, employers must implement these three key safety measures and protect the well-being of their workers.

Preventing falls with guardrail systems

Firstly, guardrail systems are one of the most effective ways to prevent falls on offshore oil rigs. According to workplace safety rules, a worker on a surface that is 4 feet or more above the ground should be protected by a guardrail system.

These systems serve as physical barriers, stopping workers from accidentally stepping or slipping over the edge of a platform.

Using personal fall arrest systems

Secondly, personal fall arrest systems are another important safety measure. Workers must use these systems for protection if there’s an opening in the floor or a platform and the bottom edge of the opening is more than 4 feet above the level below.

These systems usually include a full-body harness and a lanyard connected to a secure point. If workers fall, the system catches them, significantly reducing the risk of serious injury.

Protection from falling objects

In addition to falls, seamen on offshore oil rigs also need protection from falling objects. Workplace safety rules require that each worker wears head protection that meets specific requirements when exposed to falling objects.

Employers should also put measures in place like toeboards, screens or guardrails to stop objects from falling to a lower level.

Addressing potential injuries

Despite all these safety measures, the sea remains a challenging and unpredictable workplace. Seamen face many hazards on offshore oil rigs. If employers don’t manage these hazards properly, they inadvertently increase workers’ health and safety risks.

In these unfortunate situations, it may be beneficial for an injured seaman to seek a lawyer. A lawyer can guide them through the complexities of their specific case, helping them understand their rights and legal options. This could include protections under the Jones Act for those injured at sea or other maritime laws for those injured near waterfronts or in the offshore oil and gas industry.