An offshore worker on an oil and gas platform off the coast of Louisiana was killed in an accident when he fell through a deck opening earlier this week.
The accident occurred at about 4 AM on Monday. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy to Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the man was working on a natural gas producing platform that was not active at the time. He was involved in routine procedures to plug the abandoned well at HilCorp. Energy Company’s West Cameron Block 643 Platform A off the Louisiana coastline.
At some point, the worker fell through a deck opening. The man was an employee of Alliance Oilfield Services. Emergency crews responded to the man at the scene, and he was airlifted for emergency medical attention. However, doctors at the hospital were not able to save him, and he died later. Inspectors from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement are likely to visit the platform next week.
The accident occurred just two days before the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion resulted in the deaths of 11 workers, and left 100 workers injured. It also led to a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which ended with millions of gallons of oil leaked into the water. A year later, the Gulf coastline has not recovered from that disaster.
Incidents like these remind maritime attorneys of the continuing dangers facing offshore oil and gas workers. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact safety precautions that could have prevented this accident, without knowing exactly what height the man was working on at the time, and other details of this offshore accident. However, fall protection gear and personal restraint systems can be helpful in preventing most fall-related maritime accidents.