No one goes into offshore oil work without understanding that there are certain risks involved in their career path. Oil workers, especially offshore staff, can often command better wages because of the risks that come with their line of work.
Working in offshore oil extraction means being far from emergency services if there is a fire or medical event. It also means that working with dangerous machinery, hazardous chemicals and crude oil, which has the potential to cause fires and explosions.
All of those job risks are definitely something you should think about to help keep yourself safe on the job. However, what many offshore oil workers don’t understand is that getting to and from their work is the most dangerous part of their career, according to statistics provided by the federal government.
More than half of all offshore oil fatalities involve transportation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyze data provided by other government agencies to discover trends. Reviewing fatalities over a seven-year period for those working in oil and gas extraction showed that transportation issues caused 51% of all worker fatalities. Transportation issues may not be as dramatic as fires or explosions, but they certainly impact worker safety.
Although aircraft transportation typically carries less risk than ground transportation, 75% of oil and gas transportation fatalities involved aircraft. Helicopters specifically carried the most risk out of all forms of transportation reported in offshore worker deaths. Some of these workers were on their way to or from the job site. Others were transporting materials or equipment to or from an offshore rig.
There are typically multiple injuries for every worker death
Statistically, accidents that cause injuries happen more frequently than accidents that cause death. This is true in even the most dangerous of professions. For every oil worker who loses their life on the job, there will likely be several others who suffered severe injuries that require time off of work or that end their current professional path.
If you can’t return to work and worry about covering your costs, you will need to explore your rights as an offshore oil worker. Workers’ compensation may not necessarily be an option for you, but there are other ways for you to seek compensation.