The industry of oil and gas faces so many controversies when it comes to safety precautions. The extraction and drilling of oil, both onshore and offshore, has been considered as seven times more fatal for workers than the average industry’s rate of fatality.
When it comes to dealing with oil and gas, simple negligence can escalate into something life threatening. The mere failure of keeping a hauler clean can already cause a massive explosion if it will be used.
Being part of USA’s most dangerous profession, offshore professionals need to be equipped with knowledge and understanding of their rights as workers to know what to do in case of personal injury.
What are the rights for personal injury?
Unfortunately, injured offshore workers do not know their rights that well. And so, discussed below are some the most useful rights injured offshore workers have:
THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
A common scenario encountered by injured victims is being pressured into admitting that the accident was their fault. When employers do this, they may ask you to sign documents that waive the liability of the company or sign documents that will get you to a quick, and probably unfair, settlement. As an injured offshore worker, you have the right to keep your mouth closed and not discuss these things with your employer, their lawyers or any representatives of the company until you have yourself an offshore injury lawyer.
THE RIGHT TO A LAWYER
In the event wherein you are injured, the best move is to get yourself an offshore injury lawyer. With an offshore injury lawyer, your employer will not be able to turn tables and play the blame game on you. Your own lawyer will help you with your best interest in mind. A just and fair compensation and negotiation will take place contrary to if you try to settle things with the company without any legal advice.
THE RIGHT TO MEDICAL CARE OUTSIDE THE COMPANY
Even if most companies will encourage injured offshore workers to consult and be treated by medical practitioners working for the company, it is your right to seek medical care from a doctor or hospital of your own choice.
THE RIGHT TO HAVE MEDICAL BILLS PAID
In the case wherein the injury is not your fault and was caused by the company’s negligence or another worker’s, you have the right to have your medical bills compensated. Furthermore, in some cases like those for Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, you can have your medical expenses covered even without negligence.
THE RIGHT TO RECOVER
In some cases of offshore accidents, employers pressure injured workers into returning to work as soon as possible. However, workers who have serious injuries may return to their jobs when they fully recover. Although they might offer lighter workload and the threat of firing you if you refuse to report to work, you should know that it is your right to spend time recovering and healing until your doctor advises you to turn to duty.
The Bottom Line
Being aware of your rights as an injured worker is extremely beneficial in all situations. Through the knowledge and understanding of what you can legally do or not do, you will be able to help yourself avoid work oppression as well as unjust negotiations that only serve the interest of the company and not its workers.