Few areas of work are as rigged with danger as the environment those working offshore often find themselves in. Accidents at work in this setting can have serious physical consequences for the staff involved, and also financial ramifications for the company.
A hugely significant part of working offshore is an awareness and understanding of the Offshore Safety Act 1992. The Act was brought in as an amendment and extension to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 to enable specific rules regarding working offshore to avoid work accidents.
The Act covers the essentials of a safe working life offshore, including:
- Securing the health, safety and general wellbeing of staff either on offshore installations or working on pipelines
- Securing the safety of the aforementioned installations to prevent workplace accidents taking place both on or near them
- Securing the proper and sound construction and operation of pipelines so as to prevent damage to them
- Securing the safe dismantling, removal and disposal of both offshore installations and pipelines
The Act states that the phrase ‘offshore installation’ covers:
‘Any installation which is an offshore installation within the meaning of the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971, or is to be taken to be an installation for the purposes of sections 21 to 23 of the Petroleum Act 1987’
‘Pipeline works’ includes:
- The assembling or placing of an entire pipeline or a length
- The inspection, maintenance, repair, alteration, adjustment or renewal of a pipeline or length
- The changing of the position of a pipeline or length
- The dismantling or removal of a pipeline or length
- The examination of an area to determine whether or not it is suitable for laying pipeline
More stringent punishments of the Act:
The Act also introduced more stringent punishments. Stating that any person and employer found to be in breach of the rules laid out in the Act would be punished by:
- A prison sentence not exceeding two years
- A substantial fine
Given the stresses, dangers and threat of accidents at work that are associated with employment on an oil rig or other offshore environments; it’s important to remember that help is at hand should you suffer an injury.
If the injuries following a workplace accident required medical attention and the incident wasn’t your fault, a call to Accident Advice Helpline can establish whether you the opportunity to submit an accident claim for work injury compensation. From initial consultation, they can see your case right through to the conclusion.