Many people have well-paid jobs on ships and docks, however, these jobs can be extremely dangerous, which may account for the pay and benefits. Many people are seriously permanently injured while doing their job and some suffer fatal accidents. In the past few years, as reported by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, there have been several hundred offshore injuries, not including fires, spills, lifting and gas releases.
If you work on a ship or dock, then you may need to know what dangers to watch out for. Here’s what you should know:
1. Slips and falls
Docks and ships aren’t exactly known for being dry and many of the surfaces are extremely slick. While many workers get used to the hazardous grounds, some slip-and-fall accidents can’t be avoided and aren’t caused by water alone.
For example, a worker could easily slip on an oily surface. Or, a large wave caused a ship to tilt, causing a worker to fall and slide.
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause serious head and spine trauma. A victim could experience internal bleeding or a concussion, either of which can leave a worker permanently injured. When a worker is injured out at sea, they may only get basic medical treatment and, until they’re evaluated by a professional, may develop worse symptoms.
2. Burns from explosions, chemicals and fires
Many ships and docks transport highly dangerous liquids and substances. While these chemicals can cause extreme damage to the environment and, as such, are stored in protective containers, accidents do happen. A ruptured container holding a hazardous chemical can have all sorts of reactions, such as exploding, bursting into flames or releasing noxious gas.
Workers who are exposed to a leaked container could develop immediate and long-term medical conditions. While a fire may cause outside injuries, chemical exposure could damage the lungs and organs of workers.
If you’ve been injured out at sea, then you may need to know your maritime laws when seeking benefits and compensation.