Anyone who works in the maritime industry whether as seaman or longshoremen will tell you that they face a wide variety of dangers any time they are on the job. Many of these dangers are significantly reduced with the use of proper safety gear and properly maintained equipment while other hazards are reduced as the worker develops skills and experience.
Most Common Maritime Accident Injuries
Slippery docks and decks are probably responsible for more slip, trip, and fall injuries than just about anything else. Hard edges of the vessel and onboard equipment pose additional injury risks, especially to the head. These falls can cause:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue strains and tears
- Back injuries
- Head injuries including concussion, skull fractures, facial fractures, and brain bleeds
Falling overboard can be deadly. Frigid waters can quickly cause hyperthermia and drowning. Falling off a dock or vessel while loading or unloading gear or cargo can cause the victim to be crushed between the vessel and dock.
The engine room and galley are two of the most dangerous areas on a vessel and are areas most responsible for injuries including:
- Chemical exposure
- Severe burns
Asphyxia, toxic fumes, and chemical poisoning are also common on a vessel in cargo areas, storage rooms, and other enclosed areas.
Defective equipment, mechanical malfunctions, collisions, and not following safety protocols are the most common reasons for severe arms, leg, foot and hand injuries including amputation.
Other common maritime injuries include:
- Brain damage caused by a severe blow to the head, such as by moving or falling equipment, tools, and gear.
- Impaired vision and blindness can occur when there is an explosion or accident that projects debris into the eye, lacerates or penetrates the eye. Blunt force trauma can also cause serious damage to the eye and socket.
- Loss of hearing from high decibel noise exposure and explosions that may affect one or both ears causing permanent or short-term disability.
- Pleural diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer are caused by exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes.
- Spinal cord injuries from falls, diving accidents, blunt force trauma, and even electrocution may lead to paralysis.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder may be experienced following a traumatic accident or injury and severe enough to prevent the sufferer from being able to work.
If you have been seriously injured or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal offshore accident, speak to us as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in fighting for people in the commercial maritime industries, and we stand ready to fight for you. Fill out the form for more information.