3 common accidents in lashing operations and how to prevent them

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Offshore accidents

Lashing operations, which involve securing containers and other cargo aboard vessels, carry inherent risks. This is due to the nature of the work, where workers often have to lift and maneuver heavy gear in confined spaces. Sometimes, they may even have to work under poor lighting or unfavorable weather conditions, making the tasks challenging and risky.

Understanding these risks is critical for employers overseeing these operations. By recognizing potential dangers, they can prevent workers from enduring similar injuries and ensure the implementation of proper safety measures and protocols.

Slips, trips and falls

The most common accidents when lashing cargo are slips, trips and falls. These can happen because of different hazards at the workplace, such as:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces
  • Cluttered work areas
  • Uneven surfaces

To prevent these accidents, which can be fatal, employers should put in place certain safety steps for workers. These can include cleaning the decks regularly to eliminate hazards, using non-skid surfaces and providing them with slip-resistant footwear to lower the chance of slips, trips, and falls.

Struck-by accidents

Struck-by accidents happen when workers get hit by moving equipment, objects that fall or flying debris. These accidents can be dangerous, sometimes even deadly. Preventive measures to lower these risks include regularly checking equipment to ensure it’s working correctly, setting up safe areas away from moving equipment and giving workers proper safety equipment, like hard hats.

Accidents from improper gear handling

Accidents can also occur when workers do not handle gear correctly. Often, this happens when they lift or move equipment incorrectly, leading to injuries like sprains, strains or even back injuries. To prevent such injuries, employers should train workers to handle machinery correctly and use the right lifting tools.

In addition, encouraging workers to help each other when operating heavy equipment can significantly lower the chance of these accidents.

Mitigating risks through proactive measures

While securing cargo can be dangerous, employers can take proactive measures to reduce the risks that come with it and create a safer workplace for all workers. If an accident does happen, laws such as the Jones Act are there to protect maritime workers. This law allows them to sue their employers for damages from accidents caused by their job.

For those needing assistance in the process, they should consider seeking an attorney. They can help workers fully understand their rights and potential compensation in case of an accident.