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The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act governs injuries on off-shore oil rigs

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Personal Injury

Offshore accidents can result in back injuries, repetitive stress injuries, shoulder injuries, amputations, broken bones and drowning in Mississippi. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act has expanded the coverage for offshore rig injuries.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act extends the Longshore Act to include disabilities and death in the workplace. The OCSLA adds regulations for transporting, developing, and removing natural resources by pipeline. The new rules hold any corporate officers liable if they don’t maintain proper workers’ compensation insurance. The OCSLA only covers injury and death resulting from work operations.

Complex OCSLA situations

An employer in the oil and gas industry operating in the Outer Continental Shelf shouldn’t overlook new policies under the OCSLA. If an employer doesn’t know the new personal injury policies, coverage can get complicated quickly. An employer needs to know where their employees are and what they were doing during the incident. The operations within state waters or the Outer Continental Shelf have multiple exposures with liability lawsuits and workers’ compensation coverage.

The OCSLA coverage for offshore operations has many factors. Are the workers under maritime employment? Are the oil and gas operations transportation, removal, exploration, or development? Does the land of the accident have a substantial nexus with the OCS operation? Off-shore coverages include state workers’ compensation laws, state tort remedies, the Longshore Act, section 905(b) of the Longshore Act the Jones Act, the OCSLA, and the General Maritime law.

Understanding how the law applies

Personal injury laws sometimes overlap during Outer Continental Shelf operations. State waters are usually 3 nautical miles from the coast, and the great lakes end at the border. OCSLA can cover accidents that happen outside of the OCS as long as there is a substantial nexus between the employee’s injury and the employer’s OCS operations. Longshore Act insurance doesn’t cover any incidents involving OCSLA exposure, so injured workers need to understand their rights.