When OSHA is mentioned, some in New Orleans may think that that agency's jurisdiction is limited to indoor workspaces. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is authorized to regulate all work environments including longshore and marine terminals. The federal authority to regulate these work areas comes from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 or the OSH Act. Part 1910, Subpart B of the federal OSHA regulations extended the established federal standards of the OSH Act. This extension included standard number 1910.16, which covers longshoring and marine terminals.
For one offshore worker, the miracle of the season is that he is still alive to experience it. After the boat where he was working had an explosion, crew members were left clinging to a life raft awaiting rescue.
"Maintenance and cure" is a term that comes up often in cases involving workers who have been injured while working in Louisiana's maritime industries. To explain what it means first requires some background information.
The Louisiana coastline is still feeling the effect of the BP oil spill of 2010. Daily collections of tar wash up on the Gulf coast shores. The Coast Guard is trying to determine the long-term environmental effects.
The states affected by the BP oil spill are still feeling the effects of 4 million barrels of oil leaking into their waters. Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana are still dealing with the aftermath of this major environmental disaster. Now, BP has plans to stop clean-up efforts in the Gulf Coast waters of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
Tragedy has struck on the Louisiana waters. A tugboat captain passed away from injuries received when his tugboat was involved in an accident with an oil well. His tugboat was attached to a barge that carried over 90,000 gallons of crude oil. The source of the explosion is still being investigated but it is believed that the tugboat and barge hit a natural gas wellhead or pipeline when the offshore accident occurred.
The dangers of working in the oil industry are well documented. However, many assume the risk to provide for themselves and their families. This dangerous work helps our nation meet its oil requirements. Unfortunately, sometimes, the dangers prove all-too-true true and an offshore accident occurs.
According to safety analysts, the risk of offshore accidents is not adequately monitored by the safety metrics offshore oil and gas industry officials utilize. Rather than giving due attention to unsafe practices as a whole, experts claim, the offshore industry focuses on individual injuries as representative of overall safety.