Q: Are electrical systems aboard a ship dangerous?
Electrical systems are critical to the proper operation of maritime vessels. Electricity runs a ship’s navigation systems, winches, radios, lights, and many other crucial components.
As important as electricity is to modern vessels, it creates serious risks when equipment isn’t maintained or workers aren’t adequately trained. Anyone working aboard a ship is vulnerable to injury, or even death, when electrical systems fail.
Electrical Accident Risks
Electrical equipment that's maintained or used improperly can cause serious hazards anywhere, but on vessels these risks are magnified. The most common types of electrical accidents aboard vessels include:
- Electrical system failures. Since ships are surrounded by water, electrical equipment must be carefully insulated and protected. If it fails, the crew may be stranded without lighting, navigation aids, or communication tools. Without lighting, workers may suffer from sprains or broken bones when they slip and fall. When navigation systems are down, ships may collide with other vessels, or run aground.
- Electrical fires. Fires aboard a ship are among the most dangerous and devastating accidents a maritime worker may face. Electrical fires aboard vessels are typically caused by defective or poorly-maintained electrical equipment. Electric arcs can easily ignite fuel or other flammable materials, quickly starting a blaze. These fires may result in severe burns, overboard accidents, smoke inhalation damage, and even a sinking ship.
- Electrical shocks. Unlike electrical system failures and fires, shocks are typically individual incidents. Electrical shocks may occur when equipment is improperly installed or maintained, or when workers lack sufficient training. Unguarded electrical connections, exposed wiring, and failure to follow safety protocols can lead to serious injuries. The consequences of being shocked may include pain, burn injuries, involuntary muscle contractions, falls, heart attack, and even death.
You Need an Attorney
If you were injured in a maritime electrical accident, you need representation by an experienced attorney who can help secure the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.