Port of Columbia
Located in Caldwell Parish, the Port of Columbia is 171 acres and is served by local electricity, natural gas, and water suppliers. Transportation access includes I-20, at over 20 miles away, and I-49, which is almost 63 miles from the area. The facility is near local highways, including U.S. 165 (0.3 miles) and LA-133. It is served by a spur of the Union Pacific Railroad, the main line of which is 0.2 miles away. The property is located in the central northeast section of the state.
The site of the port grounds is on the Ouachita River, bounded by the railroad and transected by Wilson road. It received certification by the State of Louisiana in 2015, according to local news reports, announced by Entergy Corporation and the Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance. In addition, it received LEED certification, further helping to lead to future economic opportunities in this development area.
About the Area
Caldwell Parish is home to about 10,000 people. The largest municipality (one of three) is Columbia, with a population of about 1,000. Known for a scenic river, the area offers fishing, boating, water-skiing and other outdoor activities. A local airport of Highway 165 is the only public air terminal in the parish, with one runway.
Development of a local port comes with many economic considerations. It is also associated with safety concerns as employees at these kinds of facilities face many hazards on a regular basis. Even those working at small ports can be injured by manual handling operations. Lifting a container, box, or small load can cause a sprain or other injury, and working near carriers or cranes and other lifting gear creates a variety of hazards.
When cargo is loaded, procedures for properly loading it and ensuring stability are required, but also focus on reducing the risk of personal harm. Falling or moving objects can cause major injuries and deaths if they strike people. Working around or on ships comes with the risks of being hurt by handling rope, or being caught between ropes or winches on the vessel. If a rope breaks, the backlash can be especially harmful to a person working nearby.
Port or vessel employees also face the hazards of chemical exposure, which can burn skin, cause respiratory damage, and even death. Fires can erupt if chemicals and vapors or flammable materials come together. In addition, the environmental conditions around the port affect safety. Poor weather conditions can contribute to accident risks. Currents and tides can affect ship access and even cause vessels to collide with equipment on or near a dock.
Other risk factors include fatigue, in which exhausted workers lack perception and judgment to safely operate machinery, lifting equipment, or vehicles. Slipping on a wet surface or obstacle, from an elevated platform, or dock into the water, is a danger as well. Proper procedures, maintenance, and infrastructure help to reduce the risks.
If you or a loved one have been hurt on the job at the Port of Columbia, fill out and submit our online form for more information.