Two people were killed and another injured Sunday in an accident at Shell Oil’s Auger Tension Leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico, about 214 miles southwest of New Orleans. This is the third fatal offshore accident to be reported in the Gulf in the past month.
The incident occurred at about 10 a.m. Sunday during what Shell spokesperson Cynthia Babski said was “a routine and mandatory test of our lifeboat launch and retrieval capabilities at Auger TLP.” The U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement are investigating the accident.
The fatalities included a Shell employee and a Davos contractor. Another Shell employee was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital.
Fatal Fall Accidents in the Gulf of Mexico
These fatalities come quickly on the heels of two other fatal incidents on Gulf offshore oil platforms.
On May 29, a nighttime production operator was reported missing and is presumed to have fallen through a grating on Renaissance Offshore’s Eugene Island Block 331, about 170 miles southwest of New Orleans. Personnel found the operator’s hard hat and clipboard next to the displaced grating on the wellbay deck during morning rounds. The Coast Guard conducted a search for the 54-year-old man but suspended it after 56 hours.
A BSEE investigation found that there had been a “Danger” sign posted but no hard barricade around the grating where the worker’s gear was located.
Just a few days later on June 1, an employee fell approximately 90 feet on Chevron’s Green Canyon Block 205, Platform “A”. According to the BSEE preliminary report, two employees were replacing a well access hatch cover and inadvertently picked up the wrong hatch cover, creating an open hole. As they moved the hatch, one of the employees fell through the hole to the deck below.
Legal Rights of Injured Workers and their Families
Many, many offshore accidents can be prevented by companies implementing the proper training and safety protocols. Sadly, many companies fail their workers in this regard, exposing them to increased risks in an already hazardous industry.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one was killed while working offshore, it’s important to take steps as soon as possible to protect your rights.
“In virtually all accidents, and especially fatal falls that occur offshore, investigations into the cause of the accident are critical,” said Hugh Lambert, founding partner of Lambert Zainey. “While the U.S. Coast Guard, BSEE, and others are conducting investigations, you can bet that businesses and insurance companies are consulting their attorneys and conducting their own investigations. So why shouldn’t you? An experienced lawyer can investigate an accident and protect and preserve evidence on YOUR behalf. If the other side has lawyers, investigators, insurance adjusters, and experts involved after an accident, so should you, and the sooner the better.”
The offshore injury attorneys at Lambert Zainey have been helping injured workers and families for more than 40 years to recover compensation after accidents on the job. Contact us today to learn more and get help protecting your rights.