Health Effects of Offshore Oil & Gas work?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by BlueSteel28, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. BlueSteel28

    BlueSteel28 Member

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    I've been hearing more and more lately about numerous lawsuits being brought against oil companies because of people getting cancer from drill ships and rigs? Does anyone know if there is any truth to this? Or is the risk of exposure to toxic products just as bad on seagoing vessels? And for that matter, how about working on a towing vessel pushing benzene related cargo? Not sure if there is really any validity to any of it or if its just people trying to point a finger at the oil companies to force them into a a settlement. I tend to believe that if you worked in a major city your whole career you would be exposed to some pretty bad stuff everyday as well, but just curious if anyone knows for sure if working on oil platforms and drill ships are known to be more hazardous to your health.
     
  2. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I think what you see now are recent lawsuits from old guys who worked with bad stuff back in the "good ol days".

    Today, you should have all the necessary PPE on board the vessel. Read the MSDS for anything you come in contact with and make sure you have what you need. If any PPE in the MSDS is missing, request that it be provided. Any reputable company, and likely all the ones you can name off the top of your head will provide anything you need.

    If the company wont provide it, my suggestion is to look elsewhere for work.
     
  3. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Man, when I think about some of the stuff I have been exposed to (and still get exposed to). . . . . I have hauled benzene, toluene and a lot of other ***enes. Followed the precautions in place of the day and haven't had any permanent ill effects that I know of. I have also crawled over every part of various tankers, surveyed drill ship, rigs and other equipment offshore and in shipyards. I have more of a risk falling or getting hit by falling objects, especially in overseas shipyards.

    Also take not of the above and keep aware of what you need for protection. Are there increasing claims coming from offshore? Don't know but what I DO know is that easily 40% or more of the billboards between Fourchon and the New Orleans airport are attorneys asking the question, "Hurt Offshore?". . . .

    This is a risky business. Maybe a little more than a "regular" office job. I have found that you cannot completely eliminate risk of any kind. I don't even sail anymore but am routinely exposed to offshore conditions. I don't know that exposure to carcinogens is any higher on a drilling vessel than a tanker. . . . .
     
  4. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    When I think of the stupid things I did as a cadet ...

    In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, all by myself changing a light on the side of the stack (double stacks along each side of the vessel), no harness. I jammed a foot in the ladder and leaned out over the side (looking 60 feet down at the water) and unscrewed the cage around the bulb which by the way there was a short in so I was getting shocked the whole time.
    Same ship ... I am cutting wire guides off the crane booms with an Oxy/Ac torch. Also at sea, with no harness, by myself. Makes for a good sea stories, but stupid, stupid, stupid.

    I did learn my lesson though. A couple years ago the Capt wanted me to change the light at the top of the mast on a rainy night with no harness. I told him he could find another engineer.
    Same Company we were hauling a barge full of I don't remember what, some kind of addative to drywall I think. It looked like it snowed in July by the time we finished un loading the whole barge was coated in it. The bargeman said he didn't have the MSDS for it. The office didn't either but assured me there was nothing to worry about. I found one online and it turns out that when it gets wet (like when it gets on you and you have been sweating) it is basically flesh eating. I told the bargeman and he said "oh so thats why my skin stings whenever we carry it." I didn't work there much longer.
     
  5. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    I keep learning things from you all. Thanks. And ds is liking his Tidewater job, too..:shake:
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Hopefully todays youngsters will learn from the old-timers (I still don't count myself in that yet) mistakes so maybe they won't be repeated.
     
  7. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Oh, man. That IS funny. . . . too bad it is true. . . . I remember discharging Benzene at the Hess refinery in St. Croix. . . . their hands were all in what looked like hazmat suits, and we were in our finest "goin' ashore" gear. . . .
     
  8. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Hey as long as you held your breath it wasn't an issue right? At least that's what my first Chief Mate told me during my sea year....:cool:
     
  9. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah. Benzene. If you smell it, you are being over exposed. If you can't. . . well you might be anyway. . . . to think that it was used as glass cleaner in laboratories way back in the day. . . .
     
  10. TotheTop

    TotheTop Member

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    oh the days when we were cadets and could get away with the dumbest stuff haha.
     

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