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How Dangerous Is Working Offshore?

How Dangerous Is Working Offshore?

Any job that involves working offshore on an oil rig comes with a certain element of danger. In fact, it is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in all of the United States of America. This is because there are simply so many dangers that put workers at risk each and every day that they are at work. These include the long twelve-hour shifts that offshore workers do, the combustible materials that they work with on a daily basis, and the dangerous environment that they are in with cranes and other heavy machinery constantly passing over their heads – all whilst being many hundreds of miles from land.

Far From Help

In the event of any offshore injuries occurring, the coast guard is able to respond, although with them being so far away, it can take some time to reach an oil rig regardless of whether they go in a boat or by helicopter. If the integrity of the oil rig itself is jeopardized then there are lifepods on board of them that workers are able to get in and sail away from the oil rig to safety. 

This happened in April of 2010 when there was a huge explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that is owned by Transocean and sits more than fifty miles from the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. During that emergency 115 of the workers on board of the oil rig made it off safe and sound whilst, unfortunately, 11 workers died.

 How Dangerous Is Working Offshore?

Staying Safe

Whilst working on an oil rig it is mandatory for workers to wear steel toe capped boots and hard hats. This is because, as previously mentioned, they are not a safe place to work. Back in 2008 some 12 workers were killed whilst on an oil rig. Although accidents and emergencies are rare on them, they do, because of the environment, have the potential to cause serious harm and even death. Over the years this has cost numerous companies millions of pounds in damages and has promoted a huge health and safety drive. 

Smaller accidents and incidents on board oil rigs are actually quite common. For instance, between the months of January and May in 2009 there were 39 explosions/fires. Thankfully none of these resulted in death or serious harm to workers on board. 

 How Dangerous Is Working Offshore?

Future Plans Of The Industry

When large scale incidents occur, the plans of government administrations to expand offshore operations even further are brought into question. For instance, there are plans to look at areas running along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean to open them up for drilling. Other areas muted include the coastline off of Alaska and the Eastern edge of the Gulf of Mexico

These plans are seen as favorable by the vast majority of Americans even despite of the many human and environmental dangers that are involved in the process. Although there is some opposition to the idea of expanding the operation further – we will have to see what the future holds.