A sailor has suffered a maritime personal injury in a long-haul voyage between Mombasa, Kenya and Corpus Christi, Texas. Just one of several recent maritime accidents highlighting the dangers of working at sea, this accident also highlights the dangers of long-haul and deep sea voyages, where emergency services and communication may be limited. If you work in the maritime industry, read on to learn more about this accident, and what you can do if you have been injured while working offshore.
Sailor Injured after Fall
According to media reports, a 35-year-old Filipino sailor fell down a flight of stairs onboard a ship heading between Africa and the United States. After falling, the sailor fell overboard, and had to be rescued by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). After communicating with a doctor via Telkom Maritime Radio Services, the ship’s crew was advised that the sailor needed medical attention at a hospital.
The ship diverted course toward Port Elizabeth, where they were met seven miles out by the NSRI Eikos Rescuer IV and ambulance service. The sailor was transported to a hospital where he was diagnosed with injuries to his back and leg. Once the sailor was in the care of the medical team, the ship he was working on continued on with her voyage toward Corpus Christi. Unfortunately for the sailor, his journey ended – and depending on the nature and extent of his injuries, his career may also be affected.
Maritime Personal Injury Accidents in the Boating Industry
Back injuries are one of the leading causes of healthcare woes for workers across industries. Often preventable, a maritime personal injury can have a serious affect on your overall health, wellbeing, and ability to support you and your family. In the maritime industry, back injuries can be caused by many factors, with the most common being:
- Repetition – Every day, we bend, flex, twist, and otherwise subject our backs to a great deal of pressure and stress. Working in the maritime industry, you are required to lift heavy objects, work in extreme weather conditions, pull and move large ropes and equipment, and stretch or reach. All of these movements, when repetitive, can put stress on your back and make you more susceptible to a back injury. What’s more, if you work in an unsafe or poorly supervised environment, you may be even more likely to become injured.
- Unsecured Equipment – When equipment onboard a vessel is unsecured, workers are placed at risk for slips or trips, crush injuries, or falling overboard. Ship supervisors and operators have the responsibility of training sailors and crew members to ensure that equipment is always secured properly.
- Inadequate Safety Measures – If you work in the maritime industry, you likely have already had some form of safety training, and have been briefed on proper safety standards. If you or other crew members have not been trained, then the safety of everyone on board may be placed at risk. Supervisors and operators must ensure that proper safety measures are in place, including structural, medical, training, and supervision.
- Slip and Fall Injuries – Slip and fall injuries are among the most common type of maritime personal injury sustained by workers in the maritime industry. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that over 40 percent of all maritime injuries are caused by slip and fall accidents. Slick surfaces, extreme weather conditions, or improperly maintained work environments can all result in slips, trips, or falls. The most common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents in the maritime industry are injuries to the spine (back), neck, head, or lower extremities.
When Accidents are Caused by Negligence
While it is certainly true that maritime accidents can be caused by factors outside human control, there are many instances (like those mentioned above) that could be prevented if employers, supervisors, or operators maintained their duty to employees. When someone else is negligent and you are injured as a result, you should make it a priority to speak to a maritime injury attorney right away.
Workers in the maritime industry are protected by laws like the Jones Act and the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act. These laws are designed to protect maritime workers should they become injured on-the-job, as traditional workers’ compensation laws do not apply to workers in the maritime industry. Understanding maritime injury laws and taking action can be complicated, and when you are injured or suffering a loss, you may feel overwhelmed. That is why you should contact the maritime injury attorneys that you can trust to advocate on your behalf in the pursuit of justice.
Maritime Injury Attorneys
Our team of maritime injury attorneys know well how devastating a maritime personal injury, permanent disability, or loss of life is to your family. You may have a moderate injury with weeks of downtime, or you may be permanently disabled and unable to continue working. No matter what the severity of your injury is, if you have been harmed by the negligence of someone else, we want to help you. Learn more about maritime attorneys.
We work hard to fight for the rights of our clients and help ensure that their future is bright and promising. While we cannot take away the pain and anxiety that surrounds a maritime injury, we can offer your family confidence that you are not alone.
To get answers to your questions, schedule a free injury consultation with one of our attorneys, send us an email, or call our office, contact us. Do not let the strain of your situation overwhelm you when you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses–compensation which could have a dramatic, positive impact on you and your family.