BSEE finds offshore worker death could have been prevented


Nearly two years after the death of a contractor working on an offshore oil and gas platform, a federal agency determined the incident could have been prevented if the company had adhered to safety guidelines and performed preventive maintenance, reports Houma Today.

A 54-year-old production operator working the night shift for Wood Group in May 2019 went missing after the victim presumably fell through a severely corroded and deteriorating grate 45 feet above the water’s surface, the agency said.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it repeatedly flagged the rusty grates for years on the Renaissance Offshore Eugene Island platform in the Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles southwest of Houma, according to its investigation report.

There was a communication breakdown among supervisors leading up to the incident, the agency said, since workers had reported the grate felt spongey underfoot and needed replacing, according to the report.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s investigative panel, which included the U.S. Coast Guard, does not levy penalties directly, but the case is being reviewed for potential violations. See the full story.