Maritime industry careers can be very rewarding and lucrative. They’re also extremely dangerous, riding right up there with the construction industry in terms of job hazards and the preponderance of injuries that occur every year. Just about every job in the maritime industry carries the inherent danger of injury. It’s just part of the job.
However, many of these accidents can be avoided with the right safety procedures and training. Still, it’s important to understand the most common types of maritime injuries, and what you need to do in order to get compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Learn about common maritime accidents, and discover where you can go to find a maritime lawyer who can represent you in your personal injury case.
Falling overboard may be the type of injury that most people think of when they consider accidents at sea. However, it doesn’t just entail falling off of a ship at sea. It also deals with falling between vessels in dock. It could be while handling fishing gear, loading cargo or any other issue. When this happens, rescue efforts are often very complicated and too many such accidents result in hypothermia or even drowning.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Just like with the construction industry, slip and fall accidents in the maritime industry are very common. These even sometimes combine with falling overboard. Vessel decks can be uneven, cluttered and slippery. These injuries can be truly devastating and involve broken bones, traumatic head injuries, spinal cord compression injuries, paralysis, even death.
Injuries in Enclosed Spaces
Enclosed spaces are a fact of life for maritime workers. These places like cargo areas, storage rooms, access corridors, chain lockers and others can result in being trapped with low oxygen or even toxic fumes. Asphyxia and poisoning can easily result for workers who don’t exercise the right care or wear the right protective gear.
In the engine room or the galley there are substances that can result in serious burn injury. In the galley, hot oil for frying can cause serious injury, as can boiling water. In the engine room there’s burning equipment, high voltage equipment, and other harmful chemicals.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Another fact of life in maritime work is that you’ll be performing repetitive motion. If you don’t have the right training, don’t take proper breaks or wear the right safety equipment, you’re in danger of RMD, or repetitive motion disorder. The National Institutes of Health list the back, hip, neck, legs, feet and ankles as being the most susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.
Fishing accidents can occur at any time. In the decade between 2000 through 2009, over 100 fishermen were killed on the job. Over 50% of these succumbed to disasters on their vessels, and another 30% fell overboard. Defective equipment, lack of proper safety gear, failure to provide proper training, and even knifing injuries also result in these kinds of incidents.
Docks and Piers
Docks and piers are dangerous places to be. At these places, heavy cargo is loaded and unloaded almost constantly, with heavy equipment used all the time. Gangways can be treacherous to navigate, and there is also the risk of vehicular accidents. The best way to avoid these accidents is with proper training and awareness of the dangers that surround you at all times.
Broken Bones and Extremities Injury
Broken bones can result from falls, from equipment accidents, and from a wide range of other causes. These accidents can range from injuries that take a few weeks to knit, to those that are debilitating for a lifetime, ending up in paralysis or even lost limbs in equipment accident or through amputation.
Negligence and Maritime Accidents
When you get hurt on the job, your employer can be held responsible for your injury if they were negligent in providing proper safety procedures. Unlike other jobs, not all maritime workers are protected by worker’s compensation.
This means that if you didn’t receive proper training, if your employer didn’t keep equipment and machinery in proper repair, required excessive hours, failed to ensure proper safety procedures in place or any other necessary efforts to keep a safe workplace, they can be held liable for the damages you’ve suffered. Unfortunately, you’ll need to prove in court that they were irresponsible, that their irresponsibility led to the accident, and that’s why you got hurt.
Hiring a Maritime Lawyer
Maritime injuries are covered under the Jones Act, and you’ll need a good maritime lawyer to file suit to protect you in this case. Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys have helped many people like you, and we’re ready to listen. Contact us for a free consultation today.