The CDC reports that between 2011 and 2017, workers under maritime law suffered 15.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers and 4,916 nonfatal injuries or illnesses per 100,000 workers. When it comes to nonfatal injuries, the CDC estimates that this rate of maritime injuries is twice that of the overall American workforce, and the fatality rate is five times that of the average American workforce.
The American Club estimates that personal injury at work in the maritime industry has resulted in 8,400 claims between 2013 and 2018, with 4,241 of those being personal injury. It has cost the United States over 246 million dollars. Many of these injuries are the result of slip and falls, the most common maritime injury. Experts like those at Naylor Law say that if you are filing a claim this year, you will get the most compensation by hiring a lawyer.
Learn more about the most common personal injury claims under Maritime Law right here.
Slips and Falls
Slip and falls are the most common maritime injury or accident. There are a number of ways this can happen on or off a vessel. The most common causes of a maritime slip and fall are the following:
- Wet surfaces
- Slippery floors
- Obstructions that are not marked
- Poorly secured equipment that leads to a trip
- Lines that have not been secured properly
- Guard rails missing
- No safety nets
- Poor lighting
- Ladders that are loose
- Bad housekeeping
Most slip and falls on a vessel or in a marina are preventable, and that means that someone must be held responsible for any injuries incurred. If a slip and fall has happened to you, document every communication you have with your superiors.
Repetitive Movement Injuries
A repetitive movement injury is an injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This happens when stress is put on specific parts of the body through a repeated work motion. When the stress is repeated regularly, over several hours a day and many days a week, injury can occur.
Some of these stress injuries will lead to surgery, recovery, which means lost wages. Here are the most common repetitive strain injuries with marina work:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neck pain
- Nerve damage
Other Common Causes of Maritime Injuries
Working on or around vessels is extremely dangerous and poses a greater set of unique ways to become injured or killed on the job. Other common causes of maritime injuries that deserve compensation include exposure to toxic chemicals and confinement in small places.
Toxic chemicals on a boat include solvents such as alcohol, petroleum, turpentine, toluene, gasoline, and kerosene. Other chemicals that seamen may be exposed to include hydrogen sulfide, benzene, lead, arsenic, asbestos, and crystalline silica.
Many of these chemicals may require prolonged exposure before a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim can be made, as is the case with asbestos. Even so, serious injury can occur if there is an accident or fire due to one of these chemicals.
Maritime vessels are also built for living and working in small and close quarters. Many times workers are in confined spaces on the job. This alone can create a repetitive motion injury, but it could also lead to an injury, especially for larger people.
Confined spaces rarely have enough ventilation, and movement is often difficult which leads to further injury. Confined spaces might include tanks, bins, pipelines, and engine rooms, just to name a few.
Experts such as the dedicated team at Naylor Law will tell you that personal injury on the job under maritime law deserves compensation. Don’t wait to consult with a lawyer if you feel your personal injury or accident is not being treated with the justice you deserve.