Maritime Falls From Heights

Maritime workers often labor at great heights. Unsafe shipboard procedures, disregard for safety standards, and failure to properly maintain steps, ladders, and gangways may cause serious falls and debilitating injuries.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the second biggest cause of longshoring fatalities.

Causes of Maritime Falls

Many tankers, drilling rigs, and other maritime vessels and platforms have multiple decks, exposing workers to fall risks. Unsecured cargo holds and unguarded stairwells also endanger workers.

Other common causes of maritime industry falls include:

  • Cluttered walkways
  • Poor vessel maintenance
  • Lack or improper usage of safety harnesses and shoes
  • Improper catwalk usage
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Lack of situational awareness
  • Insufficient safety training
  • Slippery decks
  • Lack of warning signs
  • Broken or defective scaffolding or ladders
  • Adverse weather conditions such as rain, ice, hail, and high winds

Common Fall-Related Injuries

Falls from heights aboard vessels may result in serious injuries, including:

  • Brain injuries. Falls can cause a multitude of brain injuries, including contusions, concussions, and hematomas.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Everything from spinal compression injuries, to fractured vertebrae, to dislocations and herniated discs may be caused by a serious fall.
  • Facial injuries. Falls that impact the face may cause eye injuries, serious cuts, and fractures.
  • Fractured bones. Bones in the legs, ankles, wrists, arms, and shoulders may fracture on impact.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Falls may result in damage to tendons, ligaments, and muscles anywhere in the body.

Securing Your Recovery

Maritime employers and ship owners have a duty to ensure their vessels are seaworthy and safe working environments. When workers are injured due to a fall, they’re often hospitalized for extended periods of time, with medical bills growing by the day. If you’ve suffered maritime fall injuries, your employer is responsible for providing medical care to help you heal, and income to compensate you for lost wages. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.

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