Five Years After Deepwater Horizon, Are Oil Rig Workers Safer?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the largest disasters in the history of offshore oil rigs. Eleven rig workers were killed and in the months that followed, oil continuously poured into the open ocean. The disaster lead to many changes in the way safety regulations for oil rigs were drafted and imposed. One major outcome was that three separate safety committees were created out of what used to be the Minerals Management Service with the hope of creating broader oversight. However, there are still questions about how much safer and more effective these new regulations and committees will be.

Oil rig companies have indeed implemented some promising new safety measures. For example, two years ago, BP began having workers train on disaster simulators. Because one of the main causes of the oil spill was human error, BP hopes that these new drills will prepare workers to respond to rare accidents and shut down impending disasters before they happen. All simulations are done with a behavioral psychologist present who records the worker’s performance under stress.

Lingering Doubts about Oil Rig Safety

Despite improvements, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the real practices happening on oil rigs after the spill. One new regulation requires companies to conduct their own audits of safety practices, but a government review of those audits found that they consisted only of checking items off of a list without any elaboration on the actual tasks carried out.

Picture of an oil rig

Can Workers File Suit for Oil Rig Disasters?

Oil rig workers perform stressful tasks in high risk environments every day, and it is the responsibility of their employers to follow all safety regulations and to do everything in their power to prevent oil rig injuries or fatalities on the job. Unfortunately, it is clear that these standards are not always met. When a worker is injured due to a lack of accountability displayed by their employer, there may be cause for litigation. To learn more about how injured employees and their families can work with an oil rig accident attorney, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and check back on our blog for frequent updates.

Galloway Jefcoat LLP – Personal Injury Attorneys in Lafayette, LA


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