Moving cargo around a maritime terminal or onboard a vessel can be a hazardous task. Maritime workers that operate cargo handling equipment and even employees who work around or alongside cargo operations can be at risk of injury if the right safety precautions are not put in place. Since shipping containers themselves can be hard to maneuver, it is no surprise that accidents can happen when a company doesn’t keep safety a priority.

Top/Side Handler Hazards

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognize the dangers that come when working in the maritime cargo handling industry. Whether you’re driving around a loading dock, operating equipment, or walking nearby container loading and unloading, you’re at risk of being injured by a top/side handler.

OSHA recommends that drivers should always give top/side handlers a wide berth while in operation. It’s important for drivers to always be aware of operations that are around them as inattentive driving may lead to a top/side handler collision. Top/Side handler operators themselves should be cautious as well. OSHA recommends operators should handle the containers they are moving safely, so they avoid striking others in the stack. Operators should also be cautious when backing up their equipment, specifically keeping other operations, drivers and pedestrians in mind. Finally, OSHA recommends that pedestrians should always be cautious when working around a container stack. Maintaining eye or vocal contact with top/side handler operator will ensure that they know where you are located at all times of operation.

Without these important safety precautions, maritime workers can easily be injured by top/side handler equipment. A company that maneuvers containers at a maritime terminal or onboard a vessel should make sure their employees have a safe workplace. If you’ve been injured due to unsafe working conditions, it’s important to speak to a maritime lawyer.

With over twenty years of experience, our New Orleans maritime lawyer, Brent Cueria is here to help. Holding the company accountable for their unsafe operations, a skilled litigator will make sure you’re represented expertly when your case is brought to court. Don’t try to fight the negligent company or their insurance agency alone. Let the Cueria Law Firm get you the restitution that you deserve.