A guide to making a No Win No Fee oil rig accident claim
Oil rigs are inherently dangerous places to work. As well as the typical workplace hazards such as slips, trips and falls and manual handling incidents, workers face the risk of burn injury from gas explosions and injuries associated with dangerous machinery.
Any accident may result in severe or life-changing injuries such as those seen in the Piper Alpha tragedy in 1988 and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the United States.
The law recognises the danger associated with oil rigs and specific regulations exist to protect workers. Anyone who has been injured while working on an oil rig may be eligible to make an accident at work claim.
What are the risk associated with oil rigs?
Oil rig workers face multiple risks, including those that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) calls "major hazard accidents." They include:
- Working in poor weather conditions such as hurricanes, snow and ice. Adverse weather can make surfaces treacherous and increase the risk of slips, trips and falls from height
- Fires and explosions caused by the gas extraction process which may lead to severe burns or death
- Working with dangerous drilling machinery which may lead to serious laceration or amputation injuries
- Crush injuries caused by structural collapse of the oil rig
- Travelling to and from rigs by road, sea or air.
The most recent statistics from the HSE show that in 2014/15 these risks resulted in one fatality in the offshore oil and gas sector, 16 major injuries and 125 injuries that required the worker to take more than seven days off work.
Assessing the risks
Employers have a duty to risk assess each activity on an oil rig before work is commenced and implement control measures. Health and safety regulations are extensive, but generally include:
- Training workers to operate machinery safely
- Issuing the proper safety equipment such as rigs, hoists and Personal Protective Equipment
- Developing a plan to control major accident risks and having it approved by HSE
- Operating the rig in accordance with the safety plan
- Implementing measures to prevent the release of flammable or explosive substances
- Maintaining the integrity of the oil rig's structure.
Inadequate health and safety protocols are likely to be strong evidence of an employer's negligence and form the basis of a compensation claim.
Offshore industry claims - does it matter if the accident occurred offshore?
Oil rig accidents are not confined to the British mainland. Accident claims can and do arise from drilling activities in the North Sea and further afield, occasionally crossing international borders. It is therefore essential that Claimants choose a law firm that operates in the jurisdiction of North Sea oil rigs and has experience in international law.
Quittance's panel of solicitors can advise on the best course of action if you were injured as a result of your work on an oil rig, no matter where that rig was located.
100% No Win No Fee oil rig accident claim
Typically a no win no fee arrangement ( referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and an injury lawyer.
A CFA is essentially the conditions under which the solicitor acts for the claimant.
The agreement details what the lawyer will do and how he will be remunerated if your claim is successful.
If you instruct Quittance Personal Injury for your oil rig accident claim there are absolutely no hidden or extra costs , nothing to pay up-front and the peace of mind that you will never be financially out of pocket.
What should you do next?
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