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Explosions on offshore oil platforms can injure or kill workers

Most Louisiana residents who work in the oil industry already know that even when an offshore oil platform is not producing oil, it can still be a dangerous place to work. Explosions do not only happen during production. Other activities on the platform can lead to an accident.

Recently, an explosion occurred on a platform owned by Fieldwood Energy LLC located approximately 12 miles from the Louisiana coast. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that the damage done by the explosion was localized and did not cause any pollution to seep into the water. Four workers employed by Turnkey Cleaning Services were on the platform cleaning a piece of equipment called a heater treater, which is used to separate water and other liquids from the oil. Something went wrong during the cleaning process, but it is not yet known what caused the explosion.

One of the workers suffered fatal injuries and another suffered injuries serious enough to have him flown to a hospital. The other two workers were taken to the hospital complaining that their ears were ringing. The three injured workers were later released.

The concussive force of explosions can often have lasting effects. The workers who suffered from the Louisiana explosion may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits to cover their current medical expenses and lost wages and to cover any issues arising in the future. The family of the worker who died may also receive benefits associated with the loss of his income and burial. It may also be possible to seek additional compensation under either the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

Source: kplctv.com, "1 killed, 3 injured in offshore platform maintenance accident", Nov. 21, 2014