Maritime work is dangerous. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maritime workers, especially those in marine terminals and ports, have a higher fatality, injury, and illness rate than other categories of workers in the United States. From 2011-2017, the CDC reported that maritime worker deaths occurred at an annual rate of 15.9 per 100,000 workers (a rate five times that of the U.S. workforce overall). The nonfatal injury rate for maritime workers is double that of the U.S. workforce overall. Because such work is so dangerous, safety aboard a vessel is key to preventing injuries. Vessel owners and operators must follow numerous safety laws, guidelines, and regulations established by governmental entities such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These, and other governmental agencies, put together free safety resources to help vessel owners and operators exercise safety aboard their vessels to reduce workers’ injuries. Below are some sample resources available for free: Deck Barge Safety Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring Equipment Approval Standards Development Unfortunately, even with safety regulations and free safety resources, owners and operators sometimes fail to maintain a safe and seaworthy vessel, which causes accidents and injuries to maritime workers that could have been prevented. Common accidents and injuries sustained by workers include slips and falls from oily deck surfaces, falling off defective ladders, severe back injuries from lifting heavy cables and lines, fractured and broken bones, drowning from falling overboard, amputated limbs, exposures to […]
The Jones Act is a federal law that governs the liability of vessel operators and marine employers for work-related injuries or the death of an employee.