Common Injuries Sustained by Maritime and Offshore Workers

The maritime industries are regarded as a desirable place to work. There are plenty of hours to be had and the pay is good. However, working on the docks comes with risks that can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Following are some of the common injuries that maritime and offshore workers suffer as a result of hazards on the job.

Crush Injuries

A crush injury happens when you get pinned between two immovable objects. Some examples include having a cargo container fall on your extremities, getting pinned by machinery, or falling in between vessels. These injuries can be catastrophic and end a career as well as a life. You may need assistance from a Houston maritime lawyer to get proper compensation for your injuries in the event your career is ended as the result of a crush injury.

Long-Term Exposure to Chemicals and Asbestos

Believe it or not, asbestos is still an issue in the maritime industries even though it’s a relatively low risk. But the risk is there and mesothelioma from asbestos still happens to people who worked on ships. And it can take years for mesothelioma to become apparent, sometimes long after retirement. A Houston maritime lawyer can help with getting compensation for mesothelioma even if it’s been years since you last worked on a ship.

Ships are full of toxic chemicals that are necessary for their operation. Sometimes these chemicals are used under heat and pressure that result in fumes and leaks if proper maintenance isn’t observed. A worker can suffer from chemical burns when coming into contact with these hot fluids. Long-term inhalation of toxic fumes increases the potential for permanent lung damage. The resulting physical damage from a chemical burn can affect your quality of life as serious burns cause skin contractions and even loss of extremities. Chemical damage to lungs causes scarring and thickened lung tissue that results in breathing difficulties.

Repetitive Strain Injury

When you perform the same movement over and over, you’re at risk of a repetitive strain injury (RSI). RSI is the overstretching or even tearing of one or more ligaments. You notice it as pain every time you try to move in the manner you’re accustomed to. RSI is treatable, but it requires time off work so the body can heal and return to normal. If the RSI is severe enough, it can trigger a workman’s comp claim.

Your employment status in the maritime industries dictates how you file for workman’s comp. It may be that you can use the Jones Act because you are a maritime worker or you need to use state law for worker’s compensation. It’s not always easy to determine how to proceed after an injury and why it’s a good idea to contact a Houston maritime lawyer for assistance with processing a claim.