Hazards Faced by Maritime Workers
The Gulf Coast maritime industry is ridden with risks for the maritime workers employed there. The Center for Disease Control found that maritime workers are at higher risk of injury, illness and even death than the average American worker.
There are many hazards faced by maritime workers which are made more dangerous due to the nature of marine life including:
- Severe weather
- The use of power tools
- Working in restricted spaces
- Living in restricted spaces
- Air and water transportation
- Isolation from society
The hazards faced by maritime workers which result in injury aren’t just reserved for those who are out on the water. There are many ways in which a dock or shipyard worker can find themselves with a life-changing or even fatal injury on the job. Maritime workers who are injured while on the job may qualify for compensation from their company to cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering due to the negligence of the company or another worker.
The Rights of a Maritime Employee
- The right to working conditions free from the risk of serious harm
- The right to training regarding workplace hazards, methods to prevent them and OSHA standards which apply to their work environment
- The right to review records of injuries and illnesses associated with their workplace
- The right to file a complaint and request an inspection by an OSHA official if they believe a hazard exists in their workplace, or believe their employer is behaving negligently in a way which may result in a workplace injury
- The right to report an injury or raise health concerns.
- The right to exercise the above mentioned rights without retaliation from their employer or others in their workplace.
If you believe you have had any of the above mentioned rights broken by your employer in the maritime industry, you must file a complaint within 30 days with OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works to set and enforce industry standards, which you can learn more about at www.osha.gov. You can also contact them at 1 (800) 321-6742 to learn more or to file a complaint against your employer.
Types of Maritime Accidents We Handle
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat mainly used for the transport of heavy goods. Barge workers often face injuries due to slip and falls, equipment failure, gas leaks or fires.
Commercial fishing is a hazardous occupation, with the CDC finding commercial fishermen facing a fatality rate at 29 times the national average. Risks faced by maritime workers while on a commercial fishing boat include vessel disasters, falling overboard and the heavy machinery onboard.
Cranes are commonly used by various types of maritime industry workers both on land, such as piers and docks, and out in the water on vessels. Because cranes are large and bulky pieces of equipment, proper maintenance is necessary in order to reduce the risk maritime workers face while using them. Malfunction of a crane can cause serious injury, whether the malfunction is due to maintenance or improper use by maritime staff.
Commercial diving is a risky occupation in the maritime industry, with workers facing injury or death each day. Because of the risks, maritime companies who employ commercial divers must adhere to strict safety precautions for their workers and support equipment involved.
Handling cargo in the maritime industry is a difficult task for maritime terminal workers. The transfer of heavy cargo from a vessel into a truck or train involves heavy machinery and teams of maritime workers. Accidents can occur from malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment, untrained workers and improperly kept workplaces.
Working on an oil platform comes with daily risks for maritime workers. Petroleum is one of the many highly flammable chemicals oil rig workers are exposed to each day, which can lead to burn injuries if a fire breaks out. Other common injuries faced by oil rig workers in the maritime industry are slip and falls, malfunctioning equipment and other injuries caused by human error.
When a ship or vessel has an accident out at sea, a team of maritime workers will have the task of removing and recovering the vessel and its cargo from the water. This process is known as ship salvaging, and it comes with its own host of accident causing risks. These risks include those of other maritime workers, with the added risk associated with lifting and up-righting sunken ships.
Spud barges are useful to the maritime industry as they provide a platform for construction equipment during maritime construction. However, they require maritime workers to face risks during their operation, sometimes resulting in serious injury.
Some maritime industry vessels and platforms do not have the ability to propel themselves, such as barges and platforms. Tugboat workers are some of the busiest workers, navigating the ocean, harbors and rivers. Unfortunately, they face the risk of capsizing, mechanical breakdowns, on-board hazards and vessel collisions, each of which can cause injury for the workers on-board.
The above maritime accidents are just a few of the hazards encountered by offshore workers and maritime workers throughout the country. If you have been injured while working in the maritime industry, it is important to consult with an experienced maritime attorney. Even if you do not see the type of maritime injury case listed below, you may still have the right to file a claim and receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other consequences of the injury.
Maritime workers who have been injured while working may have rights under the Jones Act or Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. If the accident resulted from your employer's negligence, you should seek the legal representation of an experienced maritime accident attorney to hold them accountable.
When you call Cueria Law Firm, LLC, our maritime accident attorney will review the facts of your case, using decades of experience with Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Worker's Act cases to determine the best strategy going forward. Once you sign a retainer with Cueria Law Firm, we will begin fighting for fair compensation for your maritime accident injury.
To request a free consultation for your maritime accident case, contact Cueria Law Firm at (504) 525-5211.