Inland Waterway Accidents

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Port of Cordova, Alabama

The inland dock facility at the Port of Cordova, Alabama, is 60 acres. This natural river port sits on the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River near the City of Cordova, in Walker County, to the northwest of Birmingham. One of 10 inland docks operated by the Alabama State Port Authority, the dock is near local businesses, such as BAE Systems, an aerospace company, and Cordova Gas.

Cordova, Alabama, received its name in 1859, by Captain Benjamin M. Long, who ran a mercantile shop there. A textile mill brought jobs and built more than 100 homes, stores, and a police force. In 2011, two tornadoes severely damaged the small city and destroyed much of the historic downtown district, including the city hall, police and fire stations, and the central business district. Many buildings damaged were vacant, as the closure of a textile mill in 1962 displaced 800 workers.

Dock Worker Safety

Vessel operators, dock staff, and others are expected to adhere to safety regulations and others set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and even maritime laws. There are numerous risks on docks, including exposure to chemical agents that can cause a fire, respiratory problems, and death. Chemicals can come from cargo or cargoes that have been fumigated or that contain gases that are formed by bacteria or decomposition. Vehicle exhaust can be hazardous as well.

The overall environment may be a concern, from the weather at the time, which can affect manual tasks, to tides and currents that might make access to vessels difficult. But there are many other factors that contribute to the risk of accidents at inland ports. Lifting operations can be halted due to falling or moving objects, while mooring ships with ropes and winches can lead to sprains, musculoskeletal injuries, and even death. A back lashed rope can trigger a sudden injury that sidelines a worker for life.

Cranes and other lift equipment and gear come with hazards when individuals are operating or working near them. Working at heights increases the risk of falls, but slips and trips can occur anywhere there is moisture, oily deposits, or something slippery on the ground, deck, or metal walkway. Any incident can lead to head, neck, and back injuries and even falling into the water.

Traffic Management at Ports

Ports small and large often have traffic management issues including a lack of signaling, poor illumination, and proximity to loading and unloading operations. Equipment maintenance is often a concern, while drivers may be fatigued after long hours of work or inattentive. In many facilities, vehicles traverse the same paths as pedestrians, increasing the chances of people getting run over. Lack of communication over construction and route changes, improper parking, and speeding may lead to trouble at even tiny dock sites.

If you have been injured in a fall, or vehicular accident at the Port of Cordova, Alabama, fill out our online form for more information about how you can proceed with a negligence case and be compensated.

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