Our Expert Solicitors Can Help You Claim Compensation For Injuries Sustained in Accidents While Working Offshore
Working offshore brings with it a whole set of complications and dangers which create the potential for a wide range of accidents which, given the harsh and unpredictable conditions at sea, can very easily become very serious.
The remote and inaccessible nature of many of these locations also means that, even a relatively minor injury can have serious consequences if there are complications or delays in receiving the right treatment.
Accidents at work, especially in heavy industries, are always possible, but the nature of the offshore environment increases and complicates this risk. The growth of the renewable energy sector, and the increase in the numbers of people employed building and maintaining wind farms, has meant that these types of accidents are becoming more common.
Offshore accident claims are often further complicated due to cross-jurisdictional issues, due to the geographical location of the incidents.
Due to the complexity of this types of case, you need an experienced team on your side: our specialist and dedicated team of personal injury solicitors are experts in handling industrial accident claims and have earned a reputation for successfully achieving higher rates of compensation for injuries caused by such accidents.
We can assure you that your Work Accident Claim will be personally handled by a fully qualified solicitor who is highly experienced in the personal injury field.
Our confidence in the quality of our service and advice is such that we offer our personal injury services on a No Win No Fee basis, so you can relax, knowing that your claim is in safe hands.
Dangers associated with working offshore
Getting to work
One serious practical issue with working offshore is that there are significant dangers associated with just getting to work, a process which usually involves either a boat or helicopter ride. Employees must be provided with the appropriate safety equipment (such as a life vest) and must be given training on how to use them correctly, as well as training which covers travelling safely given the weather conditions.
Working offshore usually involves working with and around shipping, which brings with it a wide range of potential risks. Adverse weather conditions can make travelling by sea difficult and dangerous, and accidents caused by collisions or faults can easily occur on vessels such as drill ships, jack ups, supply boats and semi-submersible vessels.
Working offshore typically involves using large and powerful machinery, which can be difficult and tiring to operate. You need to be given the appropriate training on the correct way to use all the equipment required in your job, and you employer is also required to ensure that all equipment is maintained properly.
When working offshore you will often be working with, or in close proximity to, flammable materials, which bring with them the risk of injury caused by fire or explosion. Although these types of accidents are rare, they can be extremely serious, and the consequences can be catastrophic.
Offshore working is also often further complicated by adverse and unpredictable weather conditions, which make operating machinery and completing already difficult tasks even more perilous. Employers need to act responsibly when making decisions about the safety of workers given the weather conditions.
If you do suffer an injury while working offshore, you are very likely to be a long way from the nearest hospital, and you may possibly be some distance away from any first aid support at all. This can mean that injuries are exacerbated.
Common injuries suffered by offshore workers
Working offshore exposes you to all the same possible injuries that are associated with heavy industries. The unpredictable and dangerous environment means, however, that there is an increased risk of a serious or fatal injury [Link to relevant pages?]. An accident in an offshore environment could result in any of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Slips, trips and falls
- Exposure to toxic and /or hazardous substances
As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, the number of people employed to work with and in both onshore and offshore wind farms also increases each year, presenting significant health and safety challenges and exposing these workers to the increased danger of personal injury associated with this type of work. As with all offshore occupations, a considerable risk of serious injury or even death exists when working in this environment, but, in addition, wind farms present their own particular circumstances which employers need to take into account.
Dangers of working on a windfarm
Some wind turbines can be over 100 feet tall and, by necessity, are in areas which experience high winds. When combined with every other type of extreme weather you can imagine, this makes them very dangerous places on which to work. Working on a wind farm usually requires repeated long ladder climbs throughout the day, which creates multi opportunities for potentially serious falls. Wind farm employers are required to take measures to protect their employees from these risks by ensuring that guardrail and safety net systems, as well as personal fall arrest systems, are in place whenever workers are exposed to falls of more than 6 feet, and they must also ensure that all workers are provided with adequate non-slip footwear.
Improvements in wind farm design have made blade failure less of an issue today, but faults do still occur which can result in a blade flying off a turbine, potentially causing very serious accidents.
Wind farms are often located in very cold environments, and it is common for ice to form on turbine blades. Accidents are possible when ice falls, or is thrown, from the blades of the turbine.
Exposure to toxic materials
Employers must ensure that workers are protected from the potentially harmful gases and dust which are created during the manufacturing of blades for wind turbines. Appropriate protective equipment must be provided and made accessible on the site.
Building and maintaining windfarms inevitably involves the use of cranes, which always carry serious risks. Employers must ensure that cranes are only operated by fully trained and qualified operatives, that cranes are regularly inspected and are in proper working order at all times, and that they are located in a safe and secure place.
Claustrophobia and / or panic attacks
Working on a windfarm usually involves operating in very confined spaces, which can present significant risk factors for employees. Employers must ensure that all workers are comfortable with their working conditions and have received adequate training on safety procedures in the event that an emergency exit is required.
Injuries specifically associated with working on a windfarm
The high winds which are inevitably present when working on a wind farm can cause injuries related to hearing, and it is a requirement that employers provide the proper protective equipment for the ears of their workers to guard against long-term damage.
“Wind turbine syndrome”
Working in close proximity to the sub-sonic noise constantly produced by wind turbines has been linked to a range of issues such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, dizziness and even depression.
Some people have also reported problems linked to the flickering effect of looking at the rotating turbine blades, such as vertigo and even seizures.
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The team at PSR solicitors is best placed to help you with your Industrial Accident Compensation Claim.
With offices in Wrexham, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Shotton (Deeside) and Ellesmere Port, PSR are a leading practice of Personal Injury Solicitors in Wales and Injury Solicitors in Cheshire. We regularly act for clients on major personal injury claims across North Wales, Cheshire, Liverpool and Merseyside. As a recognised injury claims specialist we can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.
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