Port of Houma
The Port of Houma, known as the Port of Terrebonne, is located in Houma, Louisiana, near the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Vessels using this port can reach the Gulf of Mexico via the Houma Navigation Canal. This 36-mile-long canal was completed in 1961 and oil production in the U.S. became a primary focus, until it began to diversify to support the parish’s seafood, medical, and tourism industries. Today, these commodities, lumber, petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, and sugar are delivered and transported through here.
Sitting a mile west of Louisiana Highway 57 and the Houma-Terrebonne Airport, the 680-acre facility is run by the Terrebonne Port Commission. More than 2.5 million tons of cargo per year pass through it, ranking it in 98th place out of 150 ports in the United States. The site is located along Industrial Boulevard that connects it with downtown Houma and the airport.
Houma is 43 miles from the Port of New Orleans, and 72 miles from the Iberia port. It is capable of handling cargo from throughout the United States and from Latin America.
A number of corporations and local businesses operate at the facility. Another part of it is the Downtown Marina, which serves locals, travelers, and recreational boaters. Vessels can be moored overnight, and there is power, pump-out/dump out stations, and fresh water. The marina has 350 feet of dock space, with water depths ranging from five to seven feet, and five slips with 12 feet of water.
Port Employment Hazards
Any busy port has many hazards that workers and visitors face every day. Transportation represents one of the biggest dangers as roadways may not be maintained, and traffic controls not as organized as they are in public domains. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued many warnings and guidelines on travel within ports. It has addressed concerns such as driver fatigue and inattention, proximity to cargo and lifting equipment, obstacles, welding, illumination, and weather.
Cargo handling equipment, winches, and cranes present many risks to employees. Improper maintenance, part failures, and fatigue or negligence can lead to dangerous situations in which a worker may be severely injured or killed. Chemicals from cargo and other sources can cause burns and other damage, even death, and trigger fires and explosions when in contact with certain materials and vapors.
Workers also face hazards when mooring vessels to docks, manually handling cargo and equipment and working at heights. There’s also the risk of handling cargo and machinery on uneven surfaces or those that may be wet or oily. One slip can cause a fall leading to debilitating head, neck, shoulder, spine, and other injuries. If a worker is not careful, they can trip over an unnoticed cable or item on the ground, or right off a dock into the water.
Have you been injured on the job at this port? Contact us by submitting information via our online form, and we’ll provide information on resources that can help following a work-related accident.