What Constitutes an Offshore Injury?

What Constitutes an Offshore Injury?

Oct 21, 2019 | Maritime Law

Did you know there are over 4.5 million work-related injuries each year in the US?

If you’re a maritime worker, you’re probably all too familiar with the concept. Whether on a boat, ship, platform, or rig, there’s no doubt that working offshore can be a dangerous environment.

Were you or a family member injured while working offshore? Could you benefit from the services of an offshore injury lawyer?

In this post, we’ll discuss exactly what defines an offshore injury and what to do if you’ve been hurt.

Common Causes of Offshore Injuries

Maritime law covers a wide range of working environments and settings.

Some common causes of offshore injuries include:

  • Hazardous equipment
  • Slip and falls
  • Explosions
  • Fires
  • Crane failures
  • Diving accidents
  • Maritime collisions

Even with the proper safety precautions in place, these injuries can occur on any seafaring vessel.

Common Types of Offshore Injury

The term “offshore injury” covers a wide range of medical issues. These include:

Head & Brain Injuries

A swinging pipe or boom or a piece of falling equipment can spell catastrophe for a worker below. It’s also common for workers to fall from height and sustain a head injury.

Head injuries can range from a mild concussion to a coma or permanent brain damage. Falls can also result in open wounds or problems with balance and coordination.

Back & Spinal Injuries

It’s possible to injure your back simply from performing normal duties on your offshore vessel. The combination of hard labor and heavy lifting can create a host of spinal pain and problems.

If you factor in a fall from height or down a set of stairs, the injury could be even worse. Depending on the severity, you could need back or neck surgery and require months (or years) to recover.


Equipment malfunction or human error combined with combustible materials can spell disaster offshore.

Explosions or fires can instantly endanger the lives of everyone on board. If you’re caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could sustain burns that require extensive surgery to repair.

Crush Injuries & Amputations

With so much heavy equipment around, it’s no wonder many offshore injury cases involve crushed limbs. Part of your hand, foot, arm, or leg can get caught under or between something heavy.

It could also become ensnared in a mooring line or crushed between barges or falling equipment. A severe crush injury may require amputation and a prosthetic replacement.

Eye Injury & Acoustic Trauma

A final type of offshore injury we’ll mention involves the eyes or ears. Any injury that leads to impaired vision or blindness could permanently affect your ability to return to work.

The loud noises often encountered on maritime vessels can also cause damage to your eardrums. Prolonged exposure to too many decibels (or sudden exposure to a very loud sound) can result in permanent hearing loss.

Do You Need an Offshore Injury Lawyer?

If you’ve suffered an injury while performing maritime work, what can you do?

The good news is that there’s help for you and your family. Many laws were put in place specifically to protect you and ensure you get fair compensation.

Your first step is to contact an offshore injury lawyer who can aid you through the legal process.

Click here to contact the team of legal professionals at Barnes Law Firm and get started.