Helping with maritime construction, maintenance, dredging and oil service operations, deck barges play an important role in the US maritime industry, with thousands currently in operation. Deck barge employees face serious hazards that can result in injury or that can even be fatal. This is why companies that employ deck barge staff should ensure that operations are being run as safely as possible.
Barge hazards come in a variety of forms for maritime employees. The US Occupational and Safety Health Association designates that a company should operate with safety in mind to prevent accidents. A deck barge accident can seriously injure a maritime employee; therefore, companies must be careful during day-to-day operations.
A hazard that the deck barge staff must face is the potential for a slip, trip or fall that can lead them to go overboard. Barges should have flotation devices on hand in case of an overboard emergency. Equipment must be maintained on a barge, as well. If equipment fails, employees are at risk of being hit or crushed, resulting in hand, feet and limb injuries or head and spinal injuries from falling objects. Barges also feature tight, enclosed spaces that may also pose a hazard. If there is a gas or chemical leak, workers may be exposed to an unhealthy atmosphere that can result in injury or can be fatal. The most dangerous hazard that employees of a deck barge may have to face is explosion or fire. If fuel tanks are not stored properly, or wiring wears down, the chance of fire ignition increases.
To work on a deck barge, employees should be properly trained. With the right training, accidents will be less likely to occur as workers will know exactly what to do when something goes awry. Many accidents that occur on barges could have been prevented with the right procedure, so companies must manage operations appropriately.
Maritime employees who have been injured are covered under the Jones Act. If you think your company put employees at risk due to a disregard for safety, you should hold them accountable. Let the Cueria Law team help you and your family take your case to court. Our dedicated maritime lawyer will use their years of expertise to give you the best representation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a barge accident, please call our Gulf Coast maritime injury attorney for a free consultation at 888-479-0220.