Port of Epes, Alabama
The Port of Epes is run by the Industrial Board of Sumter County in Livingston, Alabama. It is situated on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, at river mile 247.0. Aggregates and wood products are transferred through here. There is a general cargo dock, outdoor storage area, and equipment to support general freight transfer operations. Tenants include Mannington Wood Floors.
Located along County Highway 21, the Port of Epes Industrial Park spans 572 acres in slight rolling topography. The heavy industry facility is served by water, sewer, and electric service from the county and natural gas from the City of Livingston. Transportation access includes three miles to Interstates 20 and 59, one mile to U.S. Highway 11, and three miles to Alabama State Highway 39. The Norfolk Southern Railroad provides service to the area as well.
Epes is a town first built in 1735, by the French. By the time the land was transferred to the United States, and physician John W. Epes sold land for a Great Southern Railroad depot in 1870, the port was being used by steamboats and for cotton shipping. The port is currently a major shipping point for wood products among other commodities.
Port Accident Hazards
A great deal of cargo passes through and within a port of any size. Cargo containers that are not properly loaded or not balanced can become unstable, while fittings and fixtures must be secured or else containers and their contents can be in danger of falling. Any incidents while lifting can possibly lead to injuries and deaths. Even those who operate carriers, cranes, and other load lifting gear, equipment, and attachments must pay careful attention to what they are doing. If there is a lack of maintenance or failure to repair equipment by others, they can be negligent if a worker is injured as a result.
Port workers must perform arduous work for many hours, and fatigue can set in. Employers and masters can do job rotations, but the work is physically demanding and ship arrival times may be unpredictable. The work often requires fast turnarounds and a fast pace in conditions that may be less than ideal. Mooring a ship, manual handling of ropes/lines/cargo, and traveling around the work site can be hazardous. Falls on slick surfaces and from heights are safety considerations too.
The issue of traffic safety is so important that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued regulations concerning transport around ports. Traffic management may be absent. Many ports do not have adequate signs and signals, and road conditions are unsafe. People and vehicles, including cars, trucks, forklifts, and cargo carriers, occupy the same spaces. The methods in which workers mount and dismount from vehicles increase the risk of incidents too. All these risks are amplified when the weather is bad or during shift changes.
If you have been hurt at Epes, submit our online form to receive information on whether maritime law covers you for compensation, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.