Our Expert Solicitors Can Help You Claim Compensation for an Injury Sustained in an Accident While Working in a Subsea Environment
There are few more challenging environments in which to work than under the sea. For most people, it is hard to imagine the difficulties involved in operating complex, often very large and dangerous machines under water. However, for some that is their day-to-day occupation.
PSR Solicitors understand the hugely complex nature of this work, and the risks involved, and our team of dedicated, highly experienced Accidents at Work Claim Solicitors are available to support you with any claim relating to a workplace accident that takes place in this most unpredictable of locations.
We are proud of our reputation for delivering a personal and responsive service, and for recovering more compensation for our clients than our competitors.
Whatever the nature of your claim, our personal injury services are offered on a No Win No Fee basis and are delivered by your own dedicated, approachable and fully qualified solicitor, rather than by a team of general legal staff.
Whether your claim relates to commercial diving, underwater drilling operations, pipeline installations or other subsea engineering activities, you need expert support, and our team is perfectly placed to provide it.
Anyone who regularly works under water, especially in the ocean, is exposing themselves to the increased risks of personal injury which are associated with working in that environment.
Accidents at work happen in all contexts, but subsea operations such as those listed below have significantly greater scope for something to go wrong:
- Commercial diving
- Underwater drilling
- Subsea construction or engineering work
- Pipeline installation or maintenance
An unpredictable environment
Although almost 70% of the surface of the earth is covered in water, we still know less about what is under the sea than we do about the surface of the moon. This is at least partly due to the incredible difficulty in conducting any type of complex operation under water. Much of this difficulty relates to the fact that through-water visibility, especially at anything other than very shallow depths, can be extremely poor. Subsea workers must often operate by feel, as light is only able to penetrate the water for a few tens of metres.
When visibility is reduced further due to the sea floor being disturbed, workers in this environment are often able to see only a few centimetres in front of them. Despite this, they are still expected to carry out difficult and dangerous tasks using complex equipment.
Added to this, and of particular relevance to the state of the equipment being used, is the huge levels of pressure which exist under the ocean. The amount of pressure exerted on workers and equipment under water increases significantly with every 10 metres of increased depth, so levels can very quickly become extremely dangerous. Furthermore, saltwater is a naturally highly corrosive substance, and prolonged subsea use means that all equipment needs to be very carefully monitored.
Risks related to subsea operations
Working under the sea adds another layer of complexity to the already significant existing risks involved in any job which requires demanding physical labour using complex, powerful equipment. Due to this, subsea workers are exposed to very real and significant risk of serious injury or even death.
Claims relating to subsea work can result from, among other things:
· Typical commercial diving injuries: in addition to fatal injuries (loss at sea) which can occur during diving operations, commercial divers can also suffer from difficulties related to decompression (commonly called “the bends”), spinal injuries caused by the heavy equipment, and skin complaints (contact dermatitis) caused by exposure to toxic substances. There are also serious risks associated with equipment faults (e.g. issues with air tanks, bells, doors, chambers and support boats).
· The unpredictable environment: the dangers associated with subsea working are increased due to the often adverse weather and working conditions in which subsea workers are required to operate. Bad weather and / or poor visibility inevitably make already difficult work more dangerous and can result in accidents and injuries.
· The remote location: most of the time subsea operations will be located in remote and difficult to access places, and, if you do get injured, you will often be a long way from medical care. Moreover, getting to the nearest hospital will often involve a dangerous journey, usually by helicopter. These factors can mean that injuries can become more serious.
How might a claim arise?
As in all contexts, your employer is responsible for your health and safety at work and must ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are in place and up to date. If your employer has failed in their duty to provide you with a safe working environment, and if you suffer an injury as a result of that failure, you might be able to make a claim. Some of the things which your employer is responsible for are:
· All staff have appropriate and regular health and safety training (including specific training in relation to operating in subsea conditions).
· All equipment is in full working order and is properly maintained. This is vital in the context of subsea operations, given the corrosive nature of saltwater and the great pressure which the equipment is under.
· Operational decisions must be taken responsibly. If, for example, visibility under the water was such significantly reduced, your employer must carefully consider your health and safety before continuing with the work.
Common injuries working in subsea environments
Commercial diving operations involve very clear dangers for employees. Commercial diving accidents can lead to decompression sickness and other pressure related injuries. In addition to this, all the typical personal injury risks and potential for industrial accident claims exist in this environment, some of them at a significantly increased level:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Slips, trips and falls
- Exposure to toxic and /or hazardous substances
Consequences of subsea injuries
The dangers of working in a subsea environment are usually compensated for by the high salary levels commanded by these jobs. A great deal of personal sacrifice is involved in working away from home for extended periods, and the work inevitably involves putting yourself in dangerous situations. Consequently, if you are injured at work, the repercussions for you and your family can be huge. If this happens to you, you need specialist advice to help you through the process of making a claim, accurately calculating your loss and recovering adequate compensation.
We are expert personal injury lawyers, and our dedicated solicitors have a huge amount of experience dealing with the kind of complex, high value claims that are typically associated with this type of work.
We are proud of our commitment to providing a personal service, and we guarantee that you will receive the best possible advice and support throughout the claim process.
Contact us today
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 Lawyers 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.
We will contact you within one hour of your initial enquiry, or during the next working day if you contact us out of office hours.
For confidential, professional legal advice contact us today by completing the enquiry form, or call on our freephone number at the top of this page.
Download Personal Injury Brochure
Find out more about PSR Solicitors - download our free brochure now.