How to avoid getting hurt overseas – Offshore Injuries

how to be safe offshore

Maritime laws protect every worker on board a cargo ship right from the able-bodied seaman to the captain. And although these jobs play a vital role in America’s economy, they are highly susceptible to injuries whilst on the job — the environment is hast and unforgiving, natural for off-shore facilities such as oil rigs and natural gas wells.

The risk of accidents caused by negligence on account of co-workers, vessels that are unseaworthy, equipment that is defective is what often puts offshore workers in a very demanding position to stay safe. Other risks include improper safety and security measures, lack of maintenance, work practices that are unsafe, fires and explosions and even sudden blowouts.

There are also several types of incidents that occur offshore that aren’t as catastrophic, but lead to injuries, being hurt, disabled or even death while on the job. Some of the most common types of such accidents include falling objects, being hit by heave equipment, falls and skips, falling overboard, being exposed to toxic materials and even exposure to extreme temperatures.

How to stay safe

  • To ensure safety when at work, it is important to conduct a complete job safety analysis before the star of your shift and make a note of potential hazards.
  • The use of proper equipment including the right protective garments, eye and ear protection, work boots, gloves, etc is extremely critical while on the job.
  • It is important that you are aware of and follow safe evacuation procedures in case of any emergencies.
  • While operating heavy equipment, see that you are well aware of the Operation and Maintenance Manuals (OMMs), operating controls and operation procedures. Additionally, be aware of the safe pressure testing procedures and follow safe practices for material handling.

If ignored, damages can be significant as workers can not only stand the risk of losing time from work, in turn losing their earning potential, but also face the risk of being permanently disabled not ruling out fatalities.

For these reasons, offshore marine works are compensated by two types of laws — One being the Jones Act and the other being the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.  

protection from offshore lawyers

Jones Act

The Jones Act broadly covers protection from injuries working in jack-up rigs and other types of drill ships that are mainly mobile oil extraction vessels. Under this law, an injured seaman is given the right to file a claim against the vessel owners, crew or even the captains if injuries caused to him were as a result of negligence or due to the vessel or rig being unseaworthy.

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

Workers that are on stationary oil rigs or natural gas wells are not covered by the Jones Act. However, they are protected by the federal government’s LHWCA or the state worker’s compensation plans. This is, of course, dependent on the geographical location of the accident site and also the jurisdiction that it falls in. The LHWCA provides protection against disease as well as contract illness or against injuries across the navigational waters of the United States and adjourning areas.   

 

Offshore Injury – What You Need to Know

In early 2013 it become clear that allegations made against the Takata Corporation about faulty airbag devices were true. According to pre-trail hearings Takata stands accused of being directly responsible for the over fourteen deaths.

Standing responsible for millions of unsafe airbags installed in cars throughout the world has been a cause of serious coprorate and also legal concern.  Information like this is not generally revealed to the public unless it’s a blunder of this proporation.  Luckily thanks to qualified offshore lawyers who delve deep into the research behind such events we know that there is some recourse for unjust events and situations that occur on a global scale.

While you might be thinking how can an event of this size affect me? It can.

Millions of Americans and Canadians work overseas and return home only occasionally to see family and friends.  While the figure aren’t clear, a large percentage of these ex pats are out seeking jobs in foreign markets and in term subjecting themselves to foreign laws and health provisions.

As an American working in the states for a US owned and operated company most of us can rest assured that our basic legal rights are respected and also upheld.  This isn’t the case in a number of foreign countries where local laws often trumps international laws.

If you do plan on traveling overseas it’s advisable to do a few things before embarking on your voyage.

A couple of thing to keep in mind:

  • Read all the fine print on your health insurance and be wary of fake online reviews.
  • Speak to a tax expert to know if there will be any end of the year tax implications.
  • Consult with a legal professional such as an overseas injury lawyer to know what exactly what happens in case of the need for emergency medical evac or legal difficulties.

It’s always best to have a plan of action in worst case scenarios then be faced with the legal and potential financial ruin that can come about from not knowing your rights overseas.

One of the biggest things that most ex-pats working abroad take for granted is that other countries uphold laws and protect workers rights to the same extend as American companies. Even large foreign international companies don’t function in the same way as their American counterparts.

For more information – Jeff Hermanson speaks on the matter:

Owning a House in Thailand – Do You Really Own It?

thailand-marble-temple

After visiting the amazing Asian country Thailand, one would be so elated by its beautiful people, panoramic beaches, culinary delights and interesting culture that he would consider buying a piece of it to call his own in such a tropical paradise. The land of smiles has been attracting a good number of international investors.

Thailand’s foreign real estate market in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin is thriving and so is the country’s tourism sector. Many foreigners have successfully invested sans any problem.

In the previous years, it was difficult for foreigners to legally buy a house, condo or any kind of property in Thailand. However, the country had relaxed its laws from 1997 onwards. Though some restrictions remain the same, it is now practically easier for foreigners to purchase a property in the country, according to Thai Visa Property.

Foreigners can own a house in Thailand, but not the land since the country’s laws prohibit them from owning a land under their own name. In owning a house, to build a structure on a land requires the foreigner to just apply for a construction permit if he has to build it in his own name.

A real estate in Thailand involves a land and a house and the owner of the land owns the things fixed to it. However, when the foreigner buys a house, the ownership of the house can be separated from the land it stands on. It must be registered to the local land office. Transfer fees and taxes are also required.

Thailand’s land office is the only government body which can administer and complete the transfer of ownership of a building or house, according to Samuiforsale. It usually takes at least 30 days from the announcement of the sale period from the first visit to the country’s land office structure document sale to be issued. The 30-day period is intended to see if anyone wants to contest the ownership over the property.

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As for owning a land in Thailand, foreigners in previous years would set a joint venture with a Thai entity in the form of a Thai Limited Liability Company, where the Thai national will be the majority shareholder. They would then forge an agreement wherein the Thai entity will hand over complete power of attorney to the foreigner who will have significant security in the venture and ownership of the property.

The people involved in the joint venture are required to complete a tax return and pay a small amount of administrative fees and taxation every year. However, this kind of venture is now illegal in Thailand.

The current recommended option is a long term leasehold agreement. Foreigners who are unable to directly own a land in Thailand in most situations can take out a legal lease in their own name to secure themselves throughout the duration of the lease.

Long term leaseholds are commonly used when buying a property in contemporary residential development in Thailand. While the term varies and depends on the parties involved, an initial leasehold can be 30 years. Renewal and further leases could then be agreed but not enforceable under Thai law.

References:

http://property.thaivisa.com/can-foreigners-property-thailand/
https://www.samuiforsale.com/knowledge/owning-a-house-in-thailand.html
http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/buying-realestate-thailand.php