Louisiana workers employed in the maritime industry have an elevated risk of accidents on the job. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that commercial fishing, one aspect of this sector, is the most statistically dangerous occupation in the U.S.
Review the common types of maritime injuries if you or a family member works on a vessel in the New Orleans area.
Causes of maritime fatalities
The CDC reports that almost 50% of fatalities happen because of a ship disaster such as an explosion or collision. Thirty percent of fatal incidents involve a fall from the ship, while the remaining 20% occur onboard, onshore or during a dive.
Factors in ship accidents
Understanding the common causes of maritime disasters can inform preventive safety measures. Vessel workers should be aware of:
- Improperly loaded or overweight cargo, which can shift and cause the boat to capsize
- Broken, damaged or improperly maintained equipment, including frayed or broken cables
- Failure to follow safety regulations or keep the appropriate equipment such as life jackets onboard, especially on small vessels such as ferries
- Operation during potentially dangerous weather
- Slippery deck surfaces and other hazardous conditions
- Failure to properly train or supervise employees, especially when using cranes and other heavy equipment
- Improper handling of dangerous and flammable chemicals, particularly on an oil rig or platform
- Lack of air circulation and venting in enclosed workspaces such as cargo holds
- Failure to provide appropriate time off and break periods for workers
Maritime workers and their families may have a Jones Act claim after a serious injury or death occurs on a Louisiana vessel.