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Port of Brownsville, Texas

First opened in 1936, Port of Brownsville is a deep water seaport connected to the Gulf of Mexico with a 17-mile long channel. It encompasses about 40,000 acres of land with five liquid cargo docks and 13 cargo docks. Originally, the most common products that went through were cotton, grains and tropical fruit. Today, steel, minerals, aluminum, gasoline and diesel and windmill parts are the major imports and exports here.

The port is responsible for 44,000 total jobs and $3 billion annual state economic activity. It is the grantee for Foreign Trade Zone #62 the largest in the state and is 2nd in the country for export value. It is the only U.S. seaport that is directly on the border with Mexico. It is recognized as a primary port for ship recycling and home to the largest builder of offshore drilling platforms in the country.

It is currently 42 feet deep with an authorization to deepen to 52 feet. In addition to cargo docks, there is also a large fishing harbor. The harbor has several 14-foot basins and more than 10,000 linear feet of docks housing up to 500 fishing boats. Several tour boats offer daily trips around the port as well as for dolphin sightings.

Cargo Dock Safety

With so many workers and others in the area and on vessels, safety is a primary concern. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide safety guidelines for the maritime industry. There are a number of hazards that have been identified along with safety procedures that should be in place to prevent injuries from occurring. According to OSHA, shipyard work has an injury rate that is nearly two times that of construction or general industry workers.

There are a number of dangers associated with working in a shipyard and on vessels. Fires, explosions, exposure to hazardous materials, falls, machinery malfunctions, welding accidents, and drowning are all possible dangers when working in these areas. Companies are responsible for providing employees with a safe work environment.

The company must take steps to identify and resolve potential safety hazards. Equipment should be inspected and maintained, and employees need to be trained to use it properly. Workers have to be adequately supervised and have to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) when working in hazardous conditions. Fire protection is a necessity when working around chemicals and other flammable substances.

Companies must have an emergency plan in place to handle accidents when they occur. If a company fails to provide adequate safety for a worker and an injury occurs, the company could be negligent. Maritime workers are protected under the Jones Act and are allowed to take legal action against a negligent employer. If you were seriously hurt in an accident at the Port of Brownsville, we can help. Contact us today using the online form to discuss your case.

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