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Steven M. Lee, PC

Tanker Risks Your Employer Hopes You’ll Ignore


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12/13/2016
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Working on a tanker ship is one of the most dangerous jobs at sea. Along with the common threats of falling overboard or getting struck by cargo, toxic gases place everyone on board at risk for fire, inhalation, and poisoning hazards.

When you’re working in an environment that is dangerous by nature, you rely on your employer to look out for you and keep you safe. Although your working conditions may be less than perfect, your employer should always be resolute when it comes to your safety. Unfortunately, for many tanker ships anchored around the outer continental shelf, this isn’t always the case.

Tanker Risks

When your employer doesn’t provide you with a safe onboard environment, he places you and your fellow shipmates at risk for devastating and possibly life-threatening injuries. An unsafe or poorly maintained tanker poses the following threats:

  • Hypoxia (low oxygen). When your body fails to receive enough oxygen, you can suffer the effects of hypoxia without much warning. Symptoms of hypoxia include impaired judgment, rapid breathing, fatigue, and even death. Furthermore, the effects of a low-oxygen environment increase your chances of making a mistake and causing a severe accident.
  • Fire hazards. Despite being surrounded by water, tankers are extremely susceptible to fire. The ship contains flammable fluids and fumes. Defective light bulbs and poorly insulated wires can spark and ignite fumes and fluids. Your employer should properly examine all aspects of electrical systems and lighting fixtures on a regular basis to avoid a catastrophic flare-up.
  • Tool mishaps. Because of the high risk of sparks and fires, employees need to be trained how to safely manage tools—particularly those that can create sparks when they come into contact with metal surfaces. Furthermore, employers need to address tool maintenance and safety precautions with every employee prior to launch to avoid accidental injuries.
  • Poisoning risks. Many tankers transport toxic chemicals which can be accidentally released during shipment. When a worker gets exposed to these chemicals, he can develop skin irritation, deterioration of lung tissues, and even poisoning. Some of these effects can be untreatable or fatal.
  • Collision or sinking dangers. If a tanker collides with another vessel or punches a hole in its hull as a result of scraping a reef, the entire vessel could sink or capsize. If proper safety protocols fail, everyone on board could wind up going down with the ship, suffering hypothermia or drowning.

Let Us Provide the Protection Your Employer Didn’t

When you’re hurt on the job, you may feel as if you’re fighting a losing battle all by yourself. Attorney Steve Lee wants you to know that this doesn’t have to be the case. Our legal team has helped numerous maritime workers in the Houston area obtain the compensation their injuries afforded. Isn’t it time we did the same for you. Contact us today to learn more and to request your FREE consultation.

Did you find this article helpful and informative? If so, please share your opinions in the comment section provided. You can also “like us” on Facebook for periodic updates on maritime injury law and how you can pursue a strong and effective claim.



Category: Maritime and Offshore Cases

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