Archive for the ‘Offshore Accidents’ Category

Oil Rigs at Risk During Tow

Dec 2013
By: William Gee Law

Working on an offshore oil rig brings with it many challenges, including the risk of explosions that could cause serious injury. However, workers are also at risk of an injury even before the rig is placed and operating. A recent incident in which an offshore rig broke free from its tow demonstrates yet another danger that is faced by those who work on offshore drilling operations.

An experienced offshore drilling rig accident lawyer knows that any time an offshore worker is injured, whether this injury occurs during the tow or at another occasion, the worker is entitled to compensation for damage and loss. Those responsible for the maintenance and operation of rigs need to ensure that the tow line is safe, secure and able to safely haul the rig in order to reduce the danger to workers and protect itself from potential legal liability for losses.

Oil Rig Breaks Free During Tow

One recent incident reported by CBC illustrates clearly the importance of taking all safety precautions when an oil rig is being owed.  The incident occurred when an oil rig that had been working in an area south of St. John called the White Rose oilfield  had to be transported to Mississippi. The rig was being towed by the Atlantic Hawk.

Unfortunately, amidst an Atlantic storm, the oil rig broke free of its tow. The break happened south of Newfoundland and occurred at a time when the waves were reaching five-meters.

After the rig broke free, it was stranded for a total of two days because of the storm. There were 99 workers who were aboard the rig and stuck offshore until the rig was able to be reattached to the Atlantic Hawk with a new tow-line and ultimately towed to its destination.

While no workers were reportedly injured in the incident, it was still a very dangerous situation for those who were left to ride out the storm on the detached rig. Fortunately, the rig was able to maintain its position even amidst the high waves because it could use its own thrusters. It was the knowledge and hard work of the crew to keep the rig in place that prevented disaster from occurring and helped everyone to stay safe.

The Transportation Safety Board has indicated that it does not plan to investigate the incident, and the rig was back in route to Mississippi after the storm cleared and the weather calmed.  Once it arrives at its destination, it will undergo a scheduled refurbishment before the ship is returned to the area in Newfoundland where the oil field is located.

If oil rig companies are proactive in complying with regulations and making sure all parts of the rigs are safe, incidents of rigs breaking free from tow lines should be reduced or eliminated.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime or offshore injury, contact the Law Offices of William Gee III at 1-800-488-5227 to speak to a Louisiana offshore accident lawyer.

25 Years After Piper Alpha Investigator Gives Insights into Lessons Learned

Oct 2013
By: William Gee Law

The Piper Alpha explosion on an offshore oil production platform was one of the most devastating accidents in the oil and gas industry, resulting in the death of 167 men. A UK-government official conducted a 13-month investigation into the 1988 disaster, which prompted 106 recommendations to be made to improve safety. Now, 25 years after Piper Alpha, the investigator has spoken out at the Oil and Gas UK conference to discuss what the industry has learned about safety and where improvements can be made to provide broader protection to offshore workers.

Despite significant safety improvements, any offshore accident lawyer in Louisiana knows that accidents continue to happen and workers continue to get hurt in the dangerous offshore drilling industry.  Learning from past disasters and constantly striving to make offshore platforms safer remains an important goal and the summary of the industry by the investigator gives drilling companies ideas for areas where they can start looking for improvement.

Investigator Summarizes Safety Issues

The Piper Alpha investigator broke his talk down into different categories that affect safety on offshore rigs including the following:

  • Management: Management shortcomings including a lack of clear procedure for shift handover, an inadequate permit-to-work system and insufficient employee training were contributing factors to Piper Alpha. Having safe leadership remains a key factor in preventing accidents as the investigator pointed out “no amount of regulations can make up for deficiencies in the quality of management of safety,” as avoiding the risk of drilling and offshore accidents “depends critically on effective safe leadership at all levels.”
  • Process Safety: Although personal safety is important to minimize the risk of injury for individual workers, process safety is the key to preventing big accidents. There should be an overall understanding of the major risks that could cause problems to develop and there must be systems to control the risks. The systems should also be checked regularly to make sure there are no breakdowns or deficiencies. A breakdown in process safety was not only the problem in Piper Alpha, but the BP Texas City refinery disaster in 2005 was also caused by “deficiencies at all levels of the corporation” as budget cuts and pressure to produce impaired process safety.
  • Regular auditing: For most of the major accidents in the oil and gas industry, including Piper Alpha, the 2005 Buncefield disaster in UK, and the 2005 Texas City refinery disaster, there were warning signs of problems in advance. When there are signs of equipment not being fit or employees not following safety procedures, feedback needs to be given and followed up on to ensure changes are made.
  • Communication: Communication is essential to ensure safety as different workforces must work together even as many workers are in a demanding and isolated environment offshore. Owners, rig operators, offshore and onshore personnel all need to communicate regularly about safety issues, key decisions on operations, and company policies.

While things have improved in the oil and gas industry thanks to changes made since Piper Alpha, ongoing safety efforts in these key areas remain necessary in order to protect the lives and health of workers.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime or offshore injury, contact the Law Offices of William Gee III at 1-800-488-5227 to speak to a Louisiana offshore accident lawyer.

Two Dead in Gas-Platform Accident Reinforces Concerns about Offshore Oil & Gas Operations

Jun 2013
By: William Gee Law

The safety of offshore oil and gas platforms has been hotly debated since the massive explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. Now, those who argue that offshore oil and gas drilling is inherently very risky business have yet another accident to add to the evidence. A North Sea gas platform accident occurred this June, leaving two workers dead.

Our Louisiana maritime injury attorneys know that workers on offshore drilling platforms risk their lives every day. And, as the economy continues to recover and exploration and recovery operations expand, those risks are on the rise. However, accepting that accidents are just an inevitable part of the offshore drilling industry is not a proactive approach. Instead, employers need to take active steps to regularly improve safety and protect workers so that the number of accidents is reduced and the fatal incidents hopefully eliminated.

Workers Killed in North Sea Gas Platform Accident Lead to Added Concerns about Offshore Risks

According to the Wall Street Journal, two workers were killed and a third were injured when a high-pressure hose snapped on the L5A offshore drilling platform in the North Sea. The platform was shut down for maintenance at the time and was depressurized, so there was no risk of a gas leak. However, three workers were hit with the high-pressure hose.

The injured worker hit by the hose was taken to the hospital and although he was conscious, the extent of his injuries is not yet known. Thirteen other employees at the facility were not harmed by the incident. Dutch investigators are looking into how the accident happened since the L5A platform was located around 64 miles north of the Dutch City of Den Helder.   The company, GDF Suez, is conducting its own investigation into the accident and has declined to indicate when work will resume on the platform.

The incident was a tragedy since lives were lost. However, the Wall Street Journal indicates that it is capturing attention and making national headlines in part because of an ongoing debate about the safety of offshore drilling rigs.

Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal published an article detailing the debate surrounding the entire industry of off-shore drilling.  It indicated that opponents of drilling have been using the Deepwater Horizon as a perfect example of why we should stop extracting oil and gas from under the ocean.  The Deepwater incident even led to a moratorium on deep water drilling in the U.S., which has since expired.  Now, those who are against offshore drilling often tend to look upon any accident as a reason to ban drilling.

However, even as environmentalists raise concerns about the risks, offshore drilling is booming in the Gulf of Mexico and other parts of the world due to the discovery of new fields and the continued high price of oil.  This boom is a good thing because it provides jobs, but it is also important to remember that worker safety initiatives need to be at the forefront.

Those who are concerned about the dangers of offshore drilling should not seize upon accidents as an excuse to argue against the industry. There are dangers to offshore drilling like there are in many different fields of work. Rather than condemning the entire industry, it is far better to work and identify new ways to make drilling safer to avoid the risk of spills and to avoid the risk of injuries to workers doing demanding jobs extracting the oil and natural gas we all need.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime injury or have lost a relative in an offshore incident, Call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime attorney at 1-800-CALL-GEE (1-800-225-5433) or contact us online today.

Houston Port Expansion Highlights Maritime Injury Risks

May 2013
By: William Gee Law

Businesses with ties to the Houston Ship Channel are reporting a period of rapid growth this year, estimating some $35 billion in capital investment and maintenance over the course of the next three years.

That’s an increase of about $14 billion from reported earlier estimates.

This is great news for the economy and the maritime industry. However, our Louisiana maritime injury attorneys just hope some of those investment funds will be funneled into boosting safety protections for the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be employed as the industry booms. Early reports are that investment in maintenance will be relatively modest, compared to the investment in infrastructure, which has more than doubled over the last year – and is expected to double again by next year.

Investment may actually increase even more, as only 51 of 132 targeted companies responded to the survey, despite the guarantee of anonymity from the Port of Houston Authority. The companies aren’t required to disclose their investment information, but we can expect that even those who did not answer will be investing heavily in coming years.

A major reason for the increase has to do with the boom in natural gas at domestic refineries. Other firms are spending billions of dollars in order to accommodate more use of this fuel. Advancements in a process of extraction called hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has produced an excess of natural gas in recent years.

Ultimately, what all of this means is that there will be an estimated 112,000 new construction jobs in the area, in addition to the numerous maritime industry jobs that the expansion will accommodate. Some companies have come forward publicly to announce intentions to expand capacity by up to 20 percent over the next several years.

This growth is noteworthy because there hasn’t been a similar boom in this industry since at least the mid-1990s. We anticipate that similar growth may be expected at other regions along the Gulf Coast.

One important thing this survey does is provide a stronger argument to Congress for federal funds, as well as a greater share of the tax resources. As it now stands, just to maintain the width and depth of the channel through dredging, businesses along the area have to pay about $85 million for maintenance. However, only about $30 million of that is reimbursed by the federal government.

Maintenance of current facilities will be important to ensuring the safety of those workers.

Some different types of work accidents that preventative maintenance can circumvent include:

  • Crude oil tanker and cargo ship explosions, which are often caused due to faulty systems that were not regularly serviced or properly inspected.
  • Marine crane accidents on ports or ships. The risk is further amplified by the fact that the sea has a tendency to wear equipment much faster. Regular inspections and maintenance are essential.
  • Shipyard injuries and illnesses – often related to construction – are unfortunately commonplace. These might include falls, falling debris, faulty equipment or even the release of poisonous fumes.
  • Barge accidents, which are often caused by faulty towing cables.
  • Cargo hauling accidents. It’s been well-documented that cargo haulers have one of the highest injury rates within the maritime industry.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime injury or have lost a relative in an offshore fatality, Call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-CALL-GEE (1-800-225-5433) or contact us online today.

More Oil Drilling Leads to Fears of An Accident Occurring

Any time offshore oil drilling occurs, there is always a chance that accidents can occur and that a spill can happen. This is especially true when expanding into new drilling areas where the crews may not be as experienced and where locals may not be well-equipped to address a potential accident that causes an oil spill.

Now, Fox News reports that international oil companies are “lining up” to take advantage of new offshore drilling opportunities in the Caribbean. Our Louisiana maritime injury lawyers know that these oil companies are taking on a major risk and that expanding the drilling into the Caribbean could have devastating effects within the United States.

The Dangers of Expanding Drilling Into New Areas

The waters of the Caribbean are well known for being pristine, and the white sand beaches in the area are a major draw for tourists. The potential damage that could befall these waters and beaches is one concern that is being expressed as international oil companies jump into the efforts to locate offshore deposits. Oil speculators are working the Caribbean from the Bahamas and Cuba stretching all the way to Suriname and Aruba.

The potential risks of offshore drilling are becoming a major issue now as there is a great deal of interest in drilling in these areas; countries hope that they can be part of a “black-gold bonanza.” Drilling for oil could result in a more diversified economy within the Caribbean, and could lessen the demand for imported oil at a time when a barrel of oil has become very expensive.

Unfortunately, drilling isn’t without risk and not everyone is enthusiastic about oil companies heading to the Caribbean. The potential damage that could result from an oil spill in these regions would do more than just harm the waters and beaches of the Caribbean. As Fox News reports, ocean currents would likely result in oil coming to the shores of the U.S. Coast. Such a spill would harm areas that are still trying to recover from the Deepwater Horizon accident that dumped so much oil into our coastal waters.

The concerns about drilling in this area are very high not just because the oil could spread to the United States, but also because in any situation when a new drilling site is opened, there is the potential that mistakes might occur. Further, when a spill happens, it could take time to figure out how to solve the problem in an area where drilling has not routinely occurred in the past.

Local authorities who are considering opening up the waters to drilling are creating a plan to deal with a spill in case it happens. Oil companies who initiate drilling in the area may also use experienced workers from the United States to set up and work on the offshore platforms. Of course, this means that there would need to be a clear plan in place not only to solve the problem of spilling oil if it occurred but also to ensure that workers were kept safe while working on oil platforms in such a remote area of the world.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime injury or have lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.

Transocean Toolpusher Recalls Harrowing Moments Before Oil Spill

Mar 2013
By: William Gee Law

According to the Times-Picayune, the senior tool pusher aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was recently given a chance to testify at a civil trial where liability was to be determined arising from the massive 2010 disaster. This was not the first time the toolpusher, Randy Ezell, had been asked to offer testimony. Ezell also spoke in May 2010 at a joint hearing conducted by the Minerals Management Service and the Coast Guard.

Our offshore oil injury lawyers are glad that Mr. Ezell was given a chance to tell his story about the frightening moments aboard the rig before the explosion and fire that led to one of the worst environmental disasters in history. Workers are often the last line of defense when a problem develops on offshore rigs and they are often put into dangerous situations in an effort to help stop leaks and curb burgeoning disasters.

Toolpusher Testimony on Events Leading Up to the Oil Spill

According to the testimony presented before the joint committee and in the civil trial, the first sign of potential trouble was seen when a negative pressure test run occurred on April 20 around 4 p.m. Because of the test, Ezell agreed to stay on duty to help the man, Jason Anderson, who had assumed control of drilling operations after the shift change. Anderson was one of the workers who died in the explosion and was described as a top-notch tool person.

Ezell said he had checked on the results of the negative pressure test at the shift change and was told that everything was fine. He went to his bunk with the understanding he would be called if something went wrong. At 9:50 p.m., the phone rang and Ezell was informed that mud was flowing into the crown. He reports being horrified because he knew this meant that hydrocarbons were pushing out of the top of the well.

Ezell quickly put on his coveralls and began looking for his hard hat and boots. When he was still searching for his boots, an explosion occurred. The rig started on fire, the well blew out and Ezell was thrown 20 feet across the room and into a bulkhead.

After collecting himself, Ezell tried to make his way through the pitch dark. He was frightened, trapped in debris and forced to shove his way out. He saw a colleague and a visiting official from Transocean both trapped under piles of debris and he stayed with them until a stretcher arrived to help them evacuate.

Ezell was ultimately one of the last to leave the rig and was rescued by the offshore supply vessel Damon B. Bankston. The vessel with Ezell and the other rescued workers on it stayed at the scene for several hours and Ezell and the others saw the rig burn and watched those left behind perish.

The recounting of events tells a harrowing story about a disaster that is sure to leave lasting emotional harm on all who endured it. The workers who were killed lost their lives and those who survived suffered serious physical or mental injuries that can last a lifetime.

If you or a loved one suffered a maritime injury or lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.

Boat Accident Off Louisiana Causes Small Spill

Mar 2013
By: William Gee Law

According to Reuters, a small oil spill occurred around 7 p.m. on a Tuesday late in February 2013. The spill occurred in the waters off Louisiana. As the Coast Guard reported, oily water discharge came off of the wellhead at an inactive oil and gas well and oil poured into the local waters.

Our offshore oil injury lawyers were distressed to hear of yet another spill in the Gulf Coast area. While this spill was a mild one with limited oil going into the water, all spills are cause for concern and can put maritime workers and residents of surrounding areas at risk of harm.

The Small Oil Spill Off Louisiana

The small oil spill in Louisiana in February occurred when a boat reportedly hit a well-head that was owned by Swift Energy. The wellhead that was struck was located in Plaquemines Parish, in inland waters. The Sea Raider was an offshore oil service boat of approximately 42 feet (13 meters).

When the collision occurred, the wellhead was damaged. This led to concerns about oil spilling into the water. As Reuters reports, those in the local area have a heightened awareness of oil spills after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. This spill, however, was a very minor one.

According to the Coast Guard, less than 840 gallons (3,180 liters) of oil were discharged from the wellhead and spilled per day. Further, Swift Energy reported that containment booms were deployed around the well, as well as skimming equipment used, in order to protect the nearby shorelines from any damage or problems caused by the oil spill.

Swift Energy responded quickly, fortunately, and the safety procedures and guidelines in place in the active oil and gas well helped to ensure that the spill would not be a major one.

The Coast Guard also deployed 40 people to oversee the cleanup efforts and operational matters. Coast Guard worked with Swift Energy, federal, state and local agencies in order to get the oil spill problem resolved as quickly and effectively as possible.

Oil/Energy Company Responsibility

While any oil spill spells bad news for the environment, the good news is that this was a small spill and is not believed to have done significant or lasting damage. Things could have been worse if the wellhead was not properly maintained as a result of being inactive, or if Swift Energy had not responded appropriately and worked with the Coast Guard and officials in cleanup efforts.

Every effort in every case should be made to avoid oil spills and to keep wells and offshore rigs safe. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents do happen. When this occurs, the company will need to respond in such a way as to keep the general public and its employees safe.

If a company fails in its safety record, in operations, in protecting employees or in otherwise fulfilling its obligations to run its drilling business responsibly, then the company can be held accountable for the consequences of their choice.

If you or a loved one suffered a maritime injury or lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.

Company Responsible for Oil Spill Refuses to Fund Studies on Impact

Mar 2013
By: William Gee Law

In 2010, a pipeline ruptured in southwestern Michigan, releasing more than 800,000 gallons of oil into a local river. The full extent of the impact of the spill is not yet known and the National Resource Damage Assessment aims to conduct additional studies. The company responsible for the rupture and spill, however, is refusing to fund or participate in the studies.

Our offshore oil injury lawyers know how devastating an oil spill can be on the environment and on the lives and health of those involved in the spill. We urge the company responsible to step up and to help to uncover the full extent of the damage.  There is no excuse for oil companies failing to take responsibility in the event that their operations cause harm to residents, workers or water resources.

Oil Company Refuses to Fund Impact Studies

According to NBC News 25, a company called Enbridge Inc. was responsible for the rupture of a pipeline in 2010 that caused the spill of more than 800,000 gallons of oil into a Michigan river.

Despite their responsibility for the spill, Enbridge Inc. has not stepped up to the plate to take on the full costs of polluting the water. For example, the National Resource Damage Assessment wants to conduct two new studies and they want Enbridge Inc. to participate, while Enbridge is resisting.

The costs of funding sought for the two studies is relatively high, with a price tag of $800,000. Enbridge does not believe that it should pay these costs or that such a study is necessary.

NBC reports that Enbridge notified the National Resource Damage Assessment of its lack of interest in cooperating last year. Enbridge reportedly declined to provide funding or participate because it believed that sufficient data had already been collected.

Enbridge may be reluctant to participate in studies designed to reveal pollution or damage to the ground water, as this could potentially render the company liable for additional pollution mitigation or clean-up efforts. Further, those who live in nearby areas and who experienced a decline in property values, health problems tied to pollution from the spill, or other losses could all potentially use the results against Enbridge.

Companies are responsible for compensating people if they do physical harm or other types of harm. If Enbridge, for example, was responsible for causing someone to become ill as a result of the oil leak or for causing someone to lose money on their home or business because of the leak, then Enbridge would be to blame and made to compensate the victim.

The key to holding Enbridge responsible is to prove that the oil spill, which occurred under the control of the company, was the direct cause of some type of compensable harm. Studies that link Enbridge to problems could be used to bolster a claim of harm by someone seeking damages from the company.

If you or a loved one suffered a maritime injury or lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.

Oil Rigs Under Construction Can Be a Dangerous Environment

Feb 2013
By: William Gee Law

Generally, workers on offshore oil rigs are in the most danger from rigs that are fully operational due to the potential for explosions and other related problems. However, these are not the only risks faced by those who work in the dangerous industry of offshore drilling. Workers who are on offshore rigs that are under construction, that are being remodeled or that are being repaired can also be in danger as well.

Recently, oil workers who were aboard a brand new Iranian gas platform in the Gulf realized just how dangerous an offshore oil rig under construction could be. Our offshore oil injury lawyers urge every worker to take note of this accident and to be aware of the dangers they face when they are doing work on an unfinished platform.

The Iranian Gas Platform Incident

According to the Time NewsFeed, an Iranian oil company was installing a new $40 million oil rig when something went wrong. Within a period of just 10 seconds, the jacket of the rig disappeared under the water and sunk more than 260 feet below the surface. Oil workers who were on the rig performing work noticed what was going on and had only seconds to scramble off to safety as the rig began to sink.

Time NewsFeed reported that it is not clear exactly how the massive 2,000 ton platform disappeared so quickly under the water. However, it is believed that there was a problem with a crane that was being used. When the crane broke as the large platform was installed, the metal rig was not yet ready to stand on its own. Instead, the rig sunk very quickly.

The platform had taken approximately 30 months to build and had been constructed by a branch of the Revolutionary Guard. The Iranian government, however, is now having difficulty dealing with the crisis and is seeking assistance in trying to dredge out the sunken rig and salvage the metal that was used. Finding assistance may be difficult due to the fact that many nations have imposed sanctions on Iran.

Worker Safety Top Priority in Oil Rig Construction

While the oil workers in this incident all managed to escape to safety, they were in a very perilous situation because of how quickly the oil rig sank. Unfortunately, any oil rig worker who is working offshore on a well or a platform that is under construction faces any number of additional risks. Other workers might not be so lucky as to escape without injury- especially as this event illustrates how quickly something can go wrong and how little time workers may have to find refuge.

The accident, therefore, underscores the need for proper training and safety for all individuals involved with offshore platforms including both oil workers and those in charge of construction, remodeling or repair.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime injury or have lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.

Offshore Drilling Halted Due to Flawed Bolts

Feb 2013
By: William Gee Law

On February 6, SF Gate reported that offshore operators were ordered to halt drilling work on both oil wells and gas wells located in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling regulators ordered work to stop on wells that had used bolts provided by General Electric Co. Unfortunately, these bolts were used on numerous wells and the need to replace the bolts on all blowout preventers would have a “significant impact” on the offshore drilling industry.

Our offshore oil injury lawyers are concerned that the GE bolts that are causing the problem could put those working on offshore rigs at risk. We urge the drilling industry to exercise all appropriate cautions in making a decision on widespread bolt replacement in order to both protect workers from injury and to do everything possible to prevent an environmental disaster due to leaks or damaged wells.

The GE Bolt Problem

According to the SF Gate, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued a safety alert about potential flaws in the GE bolts after drilling mud leaked from a well in the Gulf. The leak developed as a result of corrosion on the bolts which caused the bolts to fail.

The bolts were used on underwater equipment, blowout preventers and tubing. Officials are most concerned about the possible impact of faulty bolts on blowout preventers, which are used by oil companies as insurance to avoid explosions. Blowout preventers have been widely used and their importance within the industry has increased in light of tragic events such as the explosion that destroyed the Macondo offshore well.

Unfortunately, GE bolts and connectors made by General Electric have been used in blowout preventers and on other equipment in every type of offshore environment by all of the major companies who engage in offshore drilling. The problem with the bolts is widespread and the entire industry is feeling the impact of the potential bolt problem.  The bolts are also on backorder, and it may take a long time for them to be replaced in all areas where replacement is necessary.

In the meantime, wells and rigs that have blowout preventers using these faulty bolts could be risky places, and workers are in danger of becoming injured if something goes wrong. The blowout preventer works by shutting off a well in the event that a fail-safe device monitor reveals that there has been an uncontrolled blast of either gas or oil. The blowout preventers unfortunately, have stack connectors with GE bolts that may be corroding.

If these bolts corrode and the connection is not strong, this ups the risk of an explosive blowout, which is extremely dangerous for everyone involved. It is this danger that regulators hope to prevent by shutting down the wells in the Gulf and that GE hopes to prevent by providing industry-wide information about the problem.

Hopefully, because of this shut down and the efforts to replace the insufficient bolts, no workers will be injured on offshore rigs.

If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime injury or have lost a relative in an offshore fatality, call the Law Offices of William Gee III to speak to a maritime accident attorney at 1-800-488-5227 or contact us online today.