Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘oil rig injury’

Will I Be Covered by the Jones Act If I’m Working on a Moored Vessel?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on July 9, 2009 at 3:46 PM

The definition of what kinds of seagoing vessels are covered by the Jones Act has certainly been cause for confusion in the past. Court cases have continuously emerged over the course of the last several decades that have expanded and refined the definition of which workers are covered under the act and which are not. One example of the fine lines that the courts have drawn is moored vessels. If you happen to work on a moored vessel, you may find the following information very helpful if you are ever injured while performing the duties of your job.

The coverage of an employee working on such a vessel depends mostly on the degree to which the vessel is moored. As the definition has evolved, certain things such as floating oil platforms, which, while moored, are afloat and being worked on while at sea, have been determined to be covered under the Jones Act. So, if you’re working aboard a floating oil rig, a stationary barge, or other similar type of vessel, there is a good chance that you’re going to be able to receive benefits under the terms of the Jones Act in the event that you are injured while at work.

However, there are vessels which are not covered under this act. This includes those which have been permanently moored to the shore or the banks of any body of water. This includes structures like dry docks, wharves, and certain boat structures, which are no longer counted as vessels. This would also exclude any boats which are connected to the infrastructure systems of the city in which they are located, such as a boat which is receiving electricity, water, or telephone connections from the city they are docked in. So again, whether or not your vessel is moored is less important than the degree to which it is considered to actually be a vessel under the terms of the Jones Act, when determining whether or not you could receive Jones Act benefits if injured while at work.

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Does the Jones Act Protect Oil Rig Workers?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on July 6, 2009 at 3:39 PM

oil rigOffshore oil rigs are another one of those murky areas of law when it comes to what regulations and statutes cover workers who are injured while working on one. In fact, it is possible to say that oil rigs are among the most complicated of these situations to analyze. This is because, depending on the type of rig on which one is working, there are different laws that might apply. Therefore, in order to figure out whether or not the Jones Act will protect you if you’re working on an oil rig, it is first important to understand the specifics of the type of rig that you are working on.

If you’re on a floating oil rig or jack up, then you might, in fact, be covered under the Jones Act because you could be considered an employee of a seagoing vessel. This is the specific type of worker that the Jones Act is designed to cover. It is important to have laws in place like this which do cover the rights and protect oil rig workers. Working on off shore drilling rigs has been shown to be among the most dangerous career paths a person can take, which is why the compensation for these workers is high and why there are specific laws in place to protect them.

If the Jones Act does not apply, such as for someone working on an offshore drilling rig which is permanently affixed to the ocean floor, there is another law beyond basic workers’ compensation laws which can protect the rights of the workers on that oil rig. This is the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or LHWCA. This law covers most maritime workers who are working on or around the water, who for one reason or another aren’t already covered by the Jones Act.