Port of Pascagoula
The Port of Pascagoula is situated on Mississippi’s southeastern coast and is operated by the Jackson County Port Authority. A full-service deepwater port, it can handle over 32 million tons of cargo per year. It’s the largest seaport in the state and is one of the nation’s top 25 ports for foreign cargo. From the facility, exports include general cargo, forest and paper products, machinery, vehicles, grains, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and petroleum products, while crude oil, forest products, bulk fish, and construction aggregate are the primary imports. In 2011, over $12 billion in imports came through here, and there were over $4.3 billion in exports.
The Pascagoula River Harbor contains five public terminals. They include a 500-foot wharf and transit warehouse, a 544-foot wharf with covered storage over 145,000 square feet, and an open wharf (718 x 187 feet) with cold storage. Another 732-foot wharf has 158,500 feet of covered storage, while the South Terminal is an 825-foot wharf that covers over 50 acres. Private terminals are operated by Ingalls Shipbuilding and World Marine, LLC. A floating dry dock run by Ingalls can handle up to 250-meter-long vessels and has a capacity of 38,000 tons.
Five public terminals are located at the Bayou Casotte Harbor. These include a 737-foot facility with a marginal rail track and the 516-foot G wharf with a 175,000-square foot transit warehouse. The G extension also has a barge berth. Private terminals in this area are run by Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, Mississippi Phosphates Corporation, VT Halter Marine, First Chemical Corporation, and Gulf LNG Energy, LLC.
Pascagoula also includes 42 and 38-foot-deep channels, and weather protected rail operations. Major shipping lanes are within two hours of the facility.
Marine Port Safety Concerns
Safety is affected by many factors, including weather. Manual tasks can be hazardous when it is wet or cold, and tidal shifts can impact ship safety. Workers can fall overboard or be injured if a vessel collides with the dock or other equipment. Lifting is risky too, especially if cargo is not stable or improperly loaded or secured. Operating cranes and other equipment comes with dangers, and manual handling can lead to anything from minor sprains to major injuries such as broken bones or brain trauma.
Fatigue does not mix with any kind of port job. A worker who hasn’t had a break in hours can make mistakes that can be quite costly. Combined with Unpredictable shipments and physically demanding labor, fatigue can affect judgment while operating equipment or driving. Vehicular safety is a major concern at ports where there are poor traffic controls and little communication as to when shipments come in, and heavy vehicles will be on the roads. Pedestrian activity is problematic as well since many ports don’t have designated sidewalks and people occupy the same space as cars, trucks, and lifts. From dangerous chemicals to unfortunate slips, ports are filled with potential hazards that can injure a worker and keep them off the job for a while.
If you have sustained an injury while working there, submit the details via our online form for more information.