Zehl & Associates: Falling oil prices could affect offshore safety

Zehl & Associates, P.C., offshore injury lawyers based in Houston, Texas, are warning rig workers about the growing risk of job-related injuries, in addition to loss of job security, as a result of falling oil prices.

Citing recent job cuts and anticipated closure of rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the offshore injury lawyers at Zehl & Associates also urge oil and gas companies to focus on protecting the safety of their employees as they work to cut costs.
“It is no secret that the price of oil plays a major role in the lives of offshore oil and gas workers,” says lawyer Ryan Zehl. “When oil prices are up, it’s common for offshore workers to make well over $75,000 a year. But when oil prices start dropping significantly, as they have in recent months, many oil companies will begin doing whatever they can to cut costs and save money.”

The price of crude has dropped about 50 percent in recent months to its lowest in four years, says Zehl. As a result, oil companies are now taking proactive measures to reduce operating costs and increase profits of rigs remaining in operation.

“When oil prices fall, some companies will lay off essential rig personnel and cut back on routine maintenance,” says Zehl. “Unfortunately, those protective measures intended to save the companies from financial ruin can, and often do, lead to higher injury rates among workers who were able to avoid being fired or laid off.”

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