Outer Continental Shelf Act
Oil rig workers who are injured on the job are entitled to compensation under the Outer Continental Shelf Act. The “outer continental shelf” refers to land submerged beneath navigable waters which lies between state and federal jurisdiction. Through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program, injured workers can file Outer Continental Shelf Act claims for everything from lost wages to medical bills.
If you or a loved one has been injured while working on an oil rig or in navigable waters, do not attempt to settle your claim with the company, and most importantly, do not tell them the amount of money you would be willing to settle for. Oil rig workers and other workers on the outer continental shelf who are injured deserve to be informed about their rights. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney experienced in handling cases concerning the Outer Continental Shelf Act.
- What is the Outer Continental Shelf Act?
- Benefits and Compensation
- Finding a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
What is The Outer Continental Shelf Act?
The Outer Continental Shelf Act states that those working with natural resources in the outer continental shelf should be reasonably protected from blowouts, loss of well control, fires, spillage, and other dangers. It qualifies these employees for workers’ compensation by legally establishing fixed oil rig platforms as islands of the contiguous state. Safe equipment and adequate training should be provided for oil rig workers to ensure the safety of all employees. At times, negligent oil rig companies use unsafe equipment and outdated technology, creating a dangerous work environment. Improperly trained employees can also create unnecessarily unsafe working conditions. According to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP), employees who are hurt on the outer continental shelf are entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Benefits and Compensation
Under the Outer Continental Shelf Act, oil rig workers and other employees injured working on the navigable waters of the United States are to be provided with medical, surgical, and hospital care performed by a physician of their choice. Depending on the duration and seriousness of an employee’s injury, workers may also be entitled to receive disability wage compensation at a significant percentage of their former salary. Through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program, claimants may recoup money for pain and suffering, past loss of wages due to injury, future loss of wages due to injury, and medical expenses. In cases of work-related employee death, funeral expenses are covered and surviving family members will receive a regular check for half of the deceased’s weekly wage. It is important that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney and file a written claim within one year of the accident in order to obtain all of the protections the law has provided for you.
Employees covered by the Outer Continental Shelf Act include:
- Oil Rig Workers
- Harbor Workers
Employees who are not covered by the Outer Continental Shelf Act include:
- A master or member of a vessel’s crew
- Employees of the United States, state, or foreign governments
Finding a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Oil rig workers and other employees injured while working on the outer continental shelf should be aware that special laws exist to secure their Office of Workers’ Compensation Program medical care and financial support. The success or failure of your case may depend on whether or not you seek legal counsel from an attorney who is familiar with the Outer Continental Shelf Act and understands its implications for you. Workers’ compensation attorney Robert W. Nizich has years of experience with the Outer Continental Shelf Act, including many cases involving injured offshore oil rig workers. Strict statutes of limitations apply to outer continental shelf workers compensation cases, so do not delay seeking legal advice. Please contact us to schedule your consultation.