Historically, what kind of reputation has Transocean had among worker safety organizations?
This oil-drilling juggernaut has been around since 1973 and is considered among the most dominant energy companies in the world. With an array of nearly 50 platforms at its disposal, the company generates around $10 billion in revenue every year. And until its merger with GlobalSantaFe in 2007, it was among the most respected companies in the field, according to independent industry rating firms. Since then, its reputation has taken a hit, and this has not been helped by the repeated accidents its employees are caught up in.
As recently as 2009, the company ranked near the top in safety metrics, but it has since lost this designation, now ranking closer to the middle of the pack. For an industry leader, this is an unacceptable rating. Some industry experts now doubt the company’s ability to execute complex drilling projects safely.
How safe is it for a Transocean worker now versus the past?
Since 2002, at least one company employee has died nearly every year, and some years have experienced major disasters. In 2002, a Scottish employee suffered fatal injuries in an accident on one of the business’s drilling platforms. In 2003, a Galveston Bay, Texas explosion rocked one of the company’s drilling platforms, killing one and sending several more to the hospital. In 2007, a supply boat attending one of the company’s platforms in Scotland sank, resulting in the deaths of eight people. Following an independent investigation into the accident, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice found that the boat sank due to several unusual circumstances, most of them caused by the company. In 2008, two more employees perished on a pair of the company’s ships.
The year 2010, though, was the worst yet for the business. It was during 2010 that the now infamous Deepwater Horizon explosion claimed 11 lives and critically injured seven more. A thorough and lengthy investigation into the accident was organized by government agencies, and investigators found numerous safety violations. While some of these fall on BP’s shoulders, Transocean deserves some of the blame for looking the other way instead of addressing the issues properly.
Are there any other reasons a Transocean worker should be skeptical of the company?
In addition to its spotty safety record, employees should keep in mind that the business they work for has attempted to avoid liability in the past, even when it is clear that they share responsibility. For example, following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, several employees were approached by representatives of the company and aggressively pushed into signing a no-liability form against the company. The business also attempted to use the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 to dodge responsibility for the oil spill the explosion caused.
What should an injured employee do if they are hurt while on the job?
In some cases, platform employees may be protected by the Jones Act, which can permit an employee to sue for negligence against an employer. In most cases, though, this is not possible. An attorney can help a victim review their options for attaining compensation through the company, even if it is just a workers’ compensation claim. An attorney can also bring a suit against any other parties involved in the accident, increasing the settlement an employee may receive.