Monthly Archives: November 2020

Common Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards for Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 23, 2020

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 […]


Commercial Fishing Can Cause Injuries to Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 16, 2020

Commercial Fishing Vessel Accident Near Florence, Oregon Claims Lives An example of a dangerous commercial fishing accident occurred in June 2020 when a fishing boat called the Acquarius struck the south jetty in the Siuslaw River Bar near Florence, Oregon, and started taking on water, causing crew members to jump overboard. This particular area has a very narrow channel, and the Oregon State Marine Board warns boaters to use extreme caution when operating near this bar. The U.S Coast Guard responded to the vessel’s distress call to help the crew who had abandoned the ship. Unfortunately, two individuals were lost as a result of this commercial fishing boat accident.   Maritime workers, such as these individuals, are severely injured each year because of vessel accidents such as this one.  If you or a loved one sustained a serious maritime injury while engaging in commercial fishing, the experienced maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm are here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.  Call our office today for a free case evaluation. Our firm is different from other maritime law firms because we always put our clients first and fight for injured maritime workers.  How Can a Jones Act Accident Lawyer Help? Accidents sustained by commercial fishermen can be severe.  Fortunately, there are laws that protect maritime workers, such as the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).  These federal laws apply to various maritime workers, depending on their job responsibilities, and help them receive compensation […]


How COVID-19 Can Affect Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 9, 2020

The maritime industry is very large, including over a million maritime workers across the world.  Because seamen work aboard vessels in confined spaces and close quarters to each other, such conditions are favorable for the spread of airborne diseases like COVID-19.  It is easy for germs to spread aboard vessels, especially those not kept in the highest sanitary conditions during a global pandemic. Unfortunately, maritime workers worldwide are struggling to stay safe due to the rampant spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.  If you or a loved one became seriously ill from working aboard a vessel, suffered damages, and don’t know where to turn, contact an experienced maritime injury lawyer at Willis Law Firm.  Our attorneys put clients first and are dedicated to protecting injured or ill workers from hazardous and unsanitary work conditions.  Extended Contract Periods Cause Maritime Workers to Become Fatigued, Sustaining Serious Injuries In addition to the challenges of staying safe from COVID-19 while working, some maritime workers are being forced to remain on ships past their contract period. This causes workers to become tired and mentally exhausted, making them no longer fit to safely perform their maritime work duties. Tired crew members and overextended work trips can, unfortunately, lead to serious accidents and injuries, such as: Slip and falls from oily deck surfaces,  Falling off defective ladders, Injuries from lifting heavy cables and lines,  Fractured and broken bones,  Drowning from falling overboard,  Amputated limbs, Burns from fires and explosions onboard, Exposures to toxic chemicals, and  Death. […]


Vessel Sinks off Coast of Japan After Typhoon Maysak Injuring Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 6, 2020

Maritime Workers Are Hurt Every Year Yearly, thousands of maritime workers are injured while working aboard a vessel in the navigable waters. Sometimes accidents occur for various reasons such as operator errors, safety hazards onboard, mechanical issues, improperly trained maritime workers, fires and explosions onboard, and failure to maintain safety standards, among other issues.  However, some workers are injured or even killed because of severe weather conditions that hit the open seas while workers are traveling to and from their destinations, as was the case with a livestock ship that sank off Japan’s coast earlier this year. If you or a loved one were injured while working aboard a vessel, the experienced maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm are standing by to help you with your case.   Maritime Workers Killed When Gulf Livestock 1 Sank In early September 2020, Typhoon Masak hit Japan’s coast, causing very rough seas and dangerous weather conditions.  Only days later, a ship known as Gulf Livestock 1 carrying approximately 6,000 head of cattle and 43 maritime workers sank. The livestock ship departed from New Zealand and was headed to China with cattle. On September 2, only days after the typhoon hit, a distress call was received from the ship just off Japan’s coast. Unfortunately, only a few survivors were rescued by the Japanese coast guard from the distressed ship.  One survivor told officials that the ship had lost an engine and then capsized after a wave hit the ship.   It is essential for shipowners […]


Are Maritime Workers at Risk of Contracting Infectious Diseases?

Maritime Injuries Nov 2, 2020

Maritime workers are injured each year due to various issues such as unseaworthy vessels, oily decks, fire hazards, and dangerous weather conditions, among other reasons.  One risk that maritime workers are exposed to that is not discussed quite as frequently involves workers contracting communicable (or infectious) diseases, such as COVID-19, while working aboard a vessel.  If you or a loved one became seriously ill after contracting an infectious disease while working aboard a vessel, the experienced maritime attorneys at Willis Law Firm can help you or your loved one obtain compensation for your work-related illness.  Our firm is dedicated to protecting injured maritime workers.  Unmasking Communicable Diseases Aboard Vessels Unfortunately, seamen work in conditions favorable for the spread of infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19, Influenza, Norovirus, Hepatitis A, and Legionnaires’ Disease, among other contagious diseases.  Seamen work aboard vessels in confined spaces where workers commonly share close quarters.  Sometimes working conditions aboard vessels are unsanitary, which causes germs to spread rampantly.   Shipowners and operators must ensure that the vessels that seamen are working on are safe, clean, and healthy. Accordingly, owners/operators must follow safety guidelines and regulations and communicate policies and procedures for maintaining a safe work environment to the crew working aboard a vessel, including those related to preventing the spread of infectious diseases (like COVID-19).  Although no one can totally control the spread of a disease, they can take several precautions to prevent its spread aboard a vessel, such as the following: Provide proper disinfectant […]


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