Employees who work on ocean going vessels such as cruise ships, sailing vessels, and oil rigs are not as protected when injured or death occurs as a result of employer negligence. Yes, according to the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), an oil rig is an ocean going vessel because it was more than 3 miles offshore. Therefore, under DOHSA, injured employees or families of killed employees will not be compensated in the same fashion as employees who work on land.
Employer negligence on the high seas is not equal to employer negligence on land, regardless if the type of negligence is identical. Acts such as DOHSA are outdated and discriminates against employees who seek work that is not on land.
For more information relating to DOHSA and how it affects oil rig workers, please visit The Atlantic.