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Full body harnesses and preventing accidents at sea

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2015 | Admiralty & Maritime Law

Many Louisiana workers earn a living on the water. Especially in the oil industry, there are many opportunities for advancement, growth and a steady income for supporting oneself and one’s family. However, as with any occupation – perhaps even more so many than many fields, though – the oil industry can pose certain risks to workers. Those who have been injured on drilling rigs can contact a Louisiana maritime law attorney for legal advice.

As anyone who has worked on an oil platform is likely to know, the importance of constant safety mindfulness cannot be overstated. There are many different ways to put safety first on an offshore drilling platform; one such way is the proper use of full body harnesses. Using these devices safely can help prevent dangerous and costly accidents at sea.

The purpose of a full body harness is to allow the worker enough flexibility to do his or her job while also minimizing stress in the event of a fall. According to OSHA, harnesses are to be used for worker protection, not as a quick way to hoist materials. When should a full body harness be used? Typically, they are used for fall protection from heights of over 6 feet at temporary work sites, and from heights of over 4 feet at permanent sites. In addition, they are used for when a worker is completing a job at any height above equipment or moving parts, and for hazardous work in confined spaces.

It’s important to be sure that full body harnesses are not only used properly, but also maintained properly. A poorly-maintained harness can be just as dangerous as one that is misused by a contractor. A worker who has been injured on a seagoing vessel by faulty equipment or improper instruction can contact a local admiralty and maritime law firm.

Source: OSHA Academy, “Offshore Oil and Gas Safety – Part I,” (pg. 29) accessed Dec. 13, 2015