Many maritime workers are transferred to platforms or other offshore-structures using personnel baskets. Also known as Billy Pugh baskets, this equipment helps to ensure safe and efficient operations. Unfortunately, when proper precautions are not taken by companies, personnel baskets have the potential to be extremely dangerous. Here, our Texas maritime basket transfer injury attorneys highlight four of the most common causes of these accidents in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Lack of Proper Safety Equipment and/or Safety Protocols
All companies operating in offshore industries have a legal responsibility to ensure that personnel baskets are operated in a safe manner. As a starting point, all maritime employers must put forward the resources to obtain and maintain safe equipment. Many basket transfer accidents happen because of outdated or improperly maintained industrial equipment. In addition, maritime employers have a duty to devise and implement adequate safety protocols. With proper safety procedures in place, employers can go a long way toward reducing the risk of basket transfer accidents.
- Inadequate Employee Training
A Billy Pugh basket is a complicated piece of equipment that should be operated by a skilled professional. Employers must ensure that all employees involved in basket transfers are reasonably qualified for their position and are well-trained on safe operations. An employer that does not put sufficient resources into hiring and safety training is negligent. They may be held liable in a personal injury claim. Untrained or undertrained could contribute to a very serious accident—putting themselves and their co-workers in harm’s way.
- Negligent Crane Operation
Employees entering Billy Pugh baskets must put a tremendous amount of trust into the hands of crane operators. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of maritime basket transfer accidents happen because of crane operator negligence. Crane operator negligence comes in a wide range of different forms, including operators lowering the basket too quickly, lowering the baketing in the wrong direction, and failing to ensure that all employees are prepared for the maneuver. An employer may be liable for a crane operator’s negligence.
- Working in Bad Weather or Rough Seas
Finally, it is important to emphasize that basket transfers should only happen when weather conditions and sea conditions permit safe operation. When weather is poor or seas are especially rough, a safe basket transfer may be difficult, if not altogether impossible. A 2018 Safety Alert from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) stresses that companies should not operate during adverse weather and/or sea conditions. Patience is an imperative. Companies may be required to pause operations if weather or seas do not permit safe work.
Contact Our Houston, TX Maritime Basket Transfer Accident Attorneys Today
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our basket transfer accident lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to navigate the challenging waters of maritime law. If you or your family member was injured in a maritime basket transfer accident, we are here to help. Contact our Houston office today for a free consultation. We handle maritime accident claims in Texas and throughout the greater Gulf of Mexico region.