Offshore Accident Lawyer William Gee III Comments on Report Faulting Black Elk Energy for Fatal Fire

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The lead attorney at the Law Offices of William Gee III says he hopes the federal offshore safety bureau report sends a message that safety should be the top priority at offshore job sites.

Safety is a shared responsibility at these dangerous worksites. The safety of the workers cannot be overlooked.

Responding to news that an oil rig operator and its contractors were at fault in an oil platform explosion that killed three welders, offshore accident lawyer William Gee III of The Law Office of William Gee III said today, "operators and contractors have a responsibility to take all steps necessary to avoid similar accidents in the future."

Gee, who represents victims injured in offshore accidents, commented on an Associated Press report published in The Times-Picayune (“Federal agency blames Black Elk Energy, contractors in fatal oil platform fire,” November 4). According to AP, the federal offshore safety bureau issued a report stating that Black Elk Energy and its contractors did not take proper safety precautions, failed to identify hazards, and communicated poorly prior to the accident.

“Oil rig operators and contractors who show a disregard for the safety of their workers are a clear and present danger on oil platforms and other offshore drilling locations. Safety is a shared responsibility at these dangerous worksites. The safety of the workers cannot be overlooked,” Gee said.

According to The Times-Picayune, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued the report in early November, which ruled that Black Elk Energy – the oil rig’s operator – and its subcontractors did not follow federal regulations and failed to follow the operator’s own “hot-work” plan, which calls for a worksite’s thorough inspection before any type of work with a heat source, such as welding, was to begin.

The BSEE reported that the explosion happened because storage tanks near the workers weren’t purged of flammable liquid before the crew was cleared to perform welding with torches on nearby pipes. The pipes ignited due to gas vapors, according to The Times-Picayune.

“Safety violations should never be tolerated on an oil platform. If a company does break the law or violates regulations, the results can be catastrophic. A fatal accident can occur in a matter of seconds,” said Gee, a lawyer who handles offshore and maritime accident injury cases nationwide.

Gee said, "attorneys can help victims pursue compensation and closure for their losses. A lawyer also can hold the negligent company accountable and send a message that careless behavior will not be tolerated."

About The Law Office of William Gee III

Louisiana maritime accident lawyer William Gee III has earned a reputation as an offshore accident lawyer who tirelessly fights to protect the rights of those injured at sea. William Gee has been serving injured workers for more than 20 years. He is highly dedicated to the maritime/offshore personal injury sector of his law practice. Gee is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an honor reserved for trial lawyers who have obtained settlements or verdicts for clients totaling over two million dollars.

If you’ve been injured in a maritime or offshore accident, contact the Law Office of William Gee at 1-800-CALL-GEE today for a free case consultation.

The Law Office of William Gee III is located at:
2014 W. Pinhook Road, Suite 501
Lafayette, Louisiana 70508

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