Hand Injuries for Offshore Workers
Workers on offshore oil platforms, barges, supply vessels, and ships constantly rely on their hands to perform their jobs. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent of accidents in the oil and gas industry lead to hand and finger injuries. When bones, nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the hands are damaged, offshore workers may be unable to return to their jobs until they have completely healed.
Types of Hand Injuries
The most common offshore worker hand injuries include:
- Amputations. Hands and fingers are particularly vulnerable to being caught in heavy equipment, resulting in their amputation. This frequently happens when a worker’s gloves become caught on drum ends or machinery. If he fails to wear gloves, his ring or other jewelry may become caught in machinery or pinch points.
- Burns. Offshore jobs expose workers to numerous hot objects, and hand injuries are common when gloves aren’t used to guard against burns. Workers who fail to pay close attention to their hand placement can easily burn themselves by touching hot equipment. Offshore oil platform fires can also lead to severe burn injuries.
- Crush injuries. Ship workers are at risk of having their hands crushed by heavy cargo or containers. Crush accidents are extremely serious, and injury to any of the 27 bones in a worker’s hand can significantly impact his ability to perform everyday tasks.
Under the Jones Act, the Longshore Act, and federal maritime law, employers and ship owners are obligated to provide their employees with a safe workplace and a seaworthy vessel. Workers should be properly trained and provided with the protective equipment they need to keep them safe. Employees injured due to the negligence of their employers or coworkers may be entitled to damages for lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical costs, disfigurement, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
If you’ve sustained hand injuries while working offshore, you need representation by an experienced attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.