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August 20th, 2013

Helicopter Crashes Kill More Offshore Workers Annually Than Any Other Cause

More offshore workers are killed every year in helicopter crashes while traveling to and from a rig, than from any other cause including fires and explosions. This is even though major disasters, like explosions, receive much more attention.

Offshore workers who work on oil and gas drilling platforms already have an occupational fatality rate that is much higher than for other workers in the country. For instance, the fatality rate for these workers is approximately 27.1 compared to a fatality rate of 3.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers for other American workers. The fatality rate for offshore workers is therefore as much as 7 times higher than for other workers in the country.

However, most of the fatalities occur in transportation-related accidents including offshore helicopter crashes, and not in the rig explosions that receive so much media coverage. Between 2003 and 2010, as many as 28 offshore fatalities were recorded by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed these fatalities, and found that transportation-related offshore fatalities accounted for 51% of all offshore fatalities during their time.

About 75% of the transportation-related fatalities occurred in helicopter crashes in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 16% of fatalities involved objects and equipment, while 13% each resulted from exposure to harmful substances and explosions.

Back in 2011, a study that found that mechanical malfunctioning and bad weather or the 2 main causes of offshore crashes in the Gulf of Mexico. The study also found that as many as two thirds of offshore helicopter landings in the water were the result of mechanical malfunctioning or defects in the aircraft.

The Texas offshore injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent offshore oil and gas rig workers who have been injured in accidents in the Gulf of Mexico.

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