7 More Common Jack-Up Rig Accidents

Jack-Up Rig Accidents Mar 24, 2023

In a recent article, we discussed seven common types of jack-up rig accidents. In that article, we covered accidents like transfer accidents and tong and slip accidents that present risks for a variety of types of on-the-job injuries.

But these are far from the only types of accidents that can lead to injuries on jack-up rigs. Numerous other types of accidents on jack-up rigs can leave crew members facing expensive medical bills, time off from work, and other financial and non-financial losses. Here are seven additional types of accidents that can leave jack-up rig workers in need of financial compensation under the Jones Act:

1. Equipment and Tackle Falling from Derricks

Derricks on offshore jack-up rigs can hoist thousands of pounds of equipment and tackle high in the air. While this is necessary for offshore drilling operations, it also presents several risks for crew members on the rig. One of the biggest risks involved with operating (or working near) a derrick is that equipment will fall from the derrick onto the deck below.

Equipment and tackle falling from derricks can cause catastrophic injuries. Tragically, these accidents can also be fatal. For jack-up rig crew members who survive, recovery can be a long-term process, and it may never be possible to fully recover from the traumatic effects of the accident. Along with being hit by falling equipment and tackle, crew members can also suffer injuries due to chain-reaction accidents, explosions and other secondary effects.

2. Tools Falling from Platforms Overhead

Tools falling from overhead might not present the same level of risk as equipment or heavy tackle falling from a derrick, but they can still cause serious, life-altering and life-threatening injuries. If a coworker accidentally drops a tool or accidentally kicks a tool that is lying on the platform, this can easily cause a concussion, open head wound and various other types of injuries.

While these types of accidents will often involve coworker negligence, proof of negligence isn’t necessary to file a claim for maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act. But, if your lawyer can prove negligence (either on the part of a coworker or on the part of your employer), then your lawyer can help you seek additional compensation for your lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other injury-related losses.

3. Loss of Well Control

Losing control of a well can have disastrous consequences for the environment as well as for crew members on the rig drilling the well. These incidents occur when the well fails to maintain adequate hydrostatic pressure to overcome formation pressure—which can lead to a blowout. While all jack-up rigs should have systems in place to monitor and maintain adequate hydrostatic pressure, these systems can fail, and failure to properly operate these systems can lead to loss of well control too.

When well control incidents occur, it will often be necessary to evacuate all personnel on the rig. Along with injuries caused by the well control incident itself, injuries caused by delayed and dangerous evacuations can also justify claims for compensation based on Jones Act negligence.

4. Punch Through Events

A punch through event is defined as “a sudden and uncontrolled penetration of the spudcan[,] often causing structural damage [to] the unit. It may occur when the load becomes equal to bearing capacity for the spudcan while within a soil layer having relatively higher bearing capacity than the soil underlying that layer.” Similar to well control incidents, punch through events can result in severe injuries, and they will often leave multiple employees in need of both medical attention and legal representation.

With today’s modern drilling and geotechnical technology, there is almost no excuse for a punch through event to occur. Yet, these incidents still happen, and they often happen with devastating consequences. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a punch through event offshore, it is important that you speak with a Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible.

5. Accidents Involving Safety Violations

Derrick accidents, well control incidents and punch through events all frequently have one factor in common: They regularly involve failure to follow the requisite safety standards for offshore drilling.

Despite the obvious risks of ignoring safety risks offshore, this practice is alarmingly common among drilling companies and other offshore operators. Sadly, many companies are willing to put their employees’ safety at risk because doing so is cheaper than adhering to the stringent safety standards they are supposed to follow. When you hire a lawyer to represent you or your family, your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the incident that led to your injury or your loved one’s death. If this investigation reveals that a safety violation is to blame, your lawyer can use this to fight for maximum compensation.

6. Accidents Involving Inclement Weather  

Inclement weather is always a risk when drilling offshore. Storms can roll in quickly, and heavy winds and high seas can make it extremely dangerous to be on the deck of a jack-up rig. When weather or sea conditions jeopardize workers’ safety, drilling companies and other offshore operators need to be prepared to cease operations until it is safe to resume work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and as a result, many jack-up rig workers end up getting injured or killed unnecessarily.

7. Lifting Accidents

Finally, along with major accidents like loss of well control and punch throughs, even relatively “minor” accidents can lead to expensive and debilitating injuries. For example, lifting accidents are among the most common causes of on-the-job injuries for offshore workers. If you injured yourself lifting a heavy object on a jack-up rig, you can—and should—hire a lawyer to help you seek proper compensation.

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Jack-Up Rig Accident for Free

If you need to know more about filing a Jones Act claim after an offshore jack-up rig accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights, call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056

By Appointment Only
Willis Law Firm Portway Plaza
1717 Turning Basin Dr.
Suite #232

Houston, Texas 77029

Back to Top


Protect Your Rights.

"Willis battled the chemical companies
and won our case." - MELISSA C.