Port of Mermentau
The Port of Mermentau is one of five ports owned and operated by the Acadiana Economic Development Council, which serves seven parishes in Louisiana. It is located on a river and near the village of the same name. It’s also very close to U.S. Highway 90 and a local railroad.
Functioning as a political subdivision of the state, the Mermentau River Harbor and Terminal District has been operating since 1976. There is a main channel depth of 9 feet at the port. In 2005, it had a gross operating revenue of $21,754 and total gross revenues of $70,407. The 12 acres of land includes a boat slip and service road and supports several cargo terminals and facilities.
Port Aggregates, Inc. leased over 7.7 acres of waterfront property and had an annual tonnage of 80,000 tons. Acadiana Export Service leased over 12.5 acres and handled rice hull compost among its average of 1,000 tons per year. Covering over 10 acres, property owned by Mid State Sand & Gravel, Co., Inc. supported 28,000 tons per year on average, mostly aggregates. Bunge, Inc. owned about 10 acres next to the port slip, dealing with the transport of soybeans and rice, accounting for 11,000 tons of annual tonnage. About 106,880 tons of material was moved through Mermentau in 2005.
Workplace Hazards at Inland Ports
One of the biggest hazards at ports and marine terminals is traffic. Tractors, forklifts, trucks, and cars coexist on heavily traveled surfaces. However, driving surfaces may be less than ideal, while traffic controls may be inadequate or absent. Damaged or improperly maintained brakes, lights, and other vehicle equipment can increase the risks as well. Illumination issues, flashes from welding operations, and lapses in communication can lead to accidents causing injuries and fatalities.
Another concern is fatigue. It affects operators of vehicles and equipment who may work for long periods of time without a break, continuously engaging in physically demanding labor. In addition to those operating vehicles, crane operators may experience lapses in judgment as well. The risk is even higher if they haven’t received proper training. Those handling mooring tasks at docks can be injured by ropes and winches.
In addition, chemicals used at or transported through a port can be dangerous to breathe in, handle, or even be around. Some are even flammable or explosive when combined with certain vapors or compounds. However, there’s another common risk at any port, which doesn’t need any toxic substance or heavy object to be present – falls. One can slip on a wet surface or over the smallest piece of equipment lying around. Even on flat ground, this can cause a serious injury. The chance of catastrophic head, neck, and back injuries are greater if someone falls from high above, or off a dock or vessel into the water, in which case they can possibly drown.
Have you or someone you know been injured on the job at Mermentau, Louisiana? Contact us today by filling out the form on our website, to receive information on what to do going forward.